Letter to the editor: The Pros and Cons of Tax Abatements

Published 6:32 am Wednesday, September 4, 2019

While interested in finding out about the Pros & Cons of Tax Abatements throughout the Country and what the results have been from the studies shown, I read a very interesting article worth Your time. This sheds some significant light on what will possibly result from current abatements, especially in Texas if following the outcomes from the data compiled in this article by experts. 

According to the experts, alternatives of negotiating with further guaranteed conditions, far outweigh the benefits of giving long-term fixed abatements without guarantees of jobs, often resulting in hidden renegotiations after established contracts are signed, with local expenses costing citizens, local businesses, and future tax outlays, needed to keep up with the demands of services. Some States and Communities have entered into litigation from contractual disagreements from terms not being met, and it’s hard to fight corporate attorneys with the best lawyers money can buy if either Party is not abiding by the conditions of the terms agreed to.                                                                                                                                        

Another puzzling fact from a different article I read, was the planned site location, instead of utilizing adjacent property behind the existing Orange, Texas Chevron Phillips facility. Wouldn’t it make for a much safer, less problematic location during emergencies, not to mention the pollution and traffic congestion, or closures, on one of our main thoroughfares?

If anyone were to own a sizable amount of acreage, I really don’t think if they were planning on building a house, apartment building, or business, (or community development), they would put the utilities, propane tank, incinerator, septic tank, bathroom, storage facility, maintenance shop, shipping department, rail service, etc., just outside the front door from a well thought out plan, only because the architect, or builder said that plan would possibly give a better, not guaranteed, tax discount in the future.

Please spend the time to read this article, then always do Your own thinking to determine Your judgment, from what you have learned, instead of diving into unknown murky waters without knowing what lies below.

On your next trip to Houston on I-10, going past the Hwy.146 Baytown exit and around the next bend, imagine the Chevron Phillips – Cedar Bayou Plant sitting across from the Orange Airport in Your community, with all that comes with it.

This is taken from the article attached below; “Tax abatements do not grow the tax base, they do not grow the economy, and they can result in tax increases. 
These supposedly “free” incentives shift a great burden to regular taxpayers, such as existing small business owners, who don’t themselves benefit from economic development largesse.
Due to their numerous flaws and costs, tax abatements should not even be considered by serious local governments as a responsible tool of economic development. Instead, local governments looking to jump-start their economies should turn to tried-and-true methods of lowering taxes for
all and cutting red tape.” 



Robert DeBlanc