Select Committee on Economic Development

[The report was completed and can be viewed HERE: ]

It was an honor for me when Governor Perry appointed me to the select committee on economic development.  The select committee for economic development was established by House Bill 2785 of the 82nd Legislative Session.  The 12-member committee will recommend an economic development policy for the state of Texas, as well as conduct a study and make recommendations regarding state and local economic development incentives.  The committee will evaluate existing incentives and policies, and make recommendations regarding their continuation, elimination, or modification for the 83rd legislature.

The charge for the committee is very broad and will include:

  1. recommend to the legislature an economic development policy for the state;
  2. conduct a study and make recommendations to the legislature regarding state and local economic development incentives;
  3. develop criteria for evaluating the effectiveness of existing economic development policies and incentives in this state and make recommendations the committee considers necessary to improve those policies and incentives.  These include state and local tax systems, types or categories of business eligible for incentives, extent of incentives, retention or expansion, direct effects of business activity, how the incentives are offered compared to other states and countries and type of particular incentives;
  4. consider the benefits of consolidating state and local economic development incentives into a single statewide office or agency;
  5. evaluate existing state or local economic development incentives and make recommendations regarding the continuation, elimination, or modification of those incentives based on the criteria developed and.
  6. make recommendations on whether the state should adopt new incentives to better accomplish the state’s economic development policy.

As you can see, this is a comprehensive look on economic development policy in Texas and will keep me busy for some time. As part of this effort, I also chair a subcommittee looking at whether the state should adopt new incentives to better accomplish the state’s economic policy.  Several meetings will be held over the next two months and a full report presented to the entire select committee on economic development.

A lot of pre-work and preparation took place prior to the first meeting, held in Austin on September 5th.  Chairman Morris Foster  asked for our subcommittee reports and then we listened to invited testimony.  Aaron Demerson, executive director with the office of the Governor-Economic Development and tourism started us off by introducing his staff and the staff supporting us. After some key comments, we then heard from Keith Phillips – senior economic policy adviser at the San Antonio Branch of the Federal Resrve Bank of Dallas.  Bill Allaway, President of TTARA (Texas Tax Payer and research Association). Research Foundation followed Mr. Phillips.   We then heard from Joseph Henchman, VP of Tax Foundation in Washington DC and our last speaker was Tom Stellman- President & CEO of TIP Strategies.

This meeting was very fast paced and with significant documentation, research and reports for the committee to consider.  I am proud to represent Frisco and all of Texas as we continue to make our state the best place to do business.  I’m always looking for additional input, so please share your thoughts on economic development.

In the near future, I will convene our sub-committee in Austin to receive testimony on any potential new tools for the state to use in creating jobs.



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