Brazoria County, Texas, has given away an average of $2 million in tax breaks for every job created by the businesses those incentives attracted, a report from AutoCase Economic Advisory, commissioned by Better Brazoria, shows. Brazoria County is home to the Freeport LNG terminal that exploded last June and a host of other chemical and petrochemical facilities.
“They’ve effectively taken money out of the pockets of taxpayers and given it to wealthy corporations in exchange for pollution that puts our health at risk,” Melanie Oldham, a Freeport resident and founder of Better Brazoria, said in a statement.
Not only do the abatements reduce tax revenue, but the extant infrastructure in the region means many, if not all, of the companies that received tax breaks would have built there anyway, Nathan Jensen, a government professor at UT-Austin, said. “If these companies are coming anyway, you’re giving away tax revenues,” Jensen said. “It’s just a net loss in tax revenues. The state would be better off doing nothing.” (Houston Chronicle)