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The Californians have arrived. And they’ve brought their businesses, too

You’ll hear some grumbling about large numbers of Californians moving to Texas. But you don’t hear too many complaints about the jobs they bring with them.

TEXAS, USA — The governor’s office recently announced that Texas leads all other states in the number of headquartered Fortune 500 companies, boasting that 53 of them call Texas home.

On average in 2021, about every six days another company from somewhere else relocated a headquarters to Texas. YTexas, a firm that helps facilitate corporate relocations, has compiled a list of 62 companies from three countries and 17 states that moved here. That is by far more than any year since they started keeping track in 2005.

California was the chief exporter of headquarters to Texas in 2021. YTexas says of the 62 relocators to this state, 25 came from The Golden State. Overall, most of the migrating businesses landed in Central Texas (29) and North Texas (27). Many of the relocators were tech companies.

Despite the common perception, a new report from Cushman & Wakefield says the tech capital of Texas is not the state capital. The report finds D-FW has more tech workers than Austin and Houston combined. It goes on to say that the number of technology jobs in North Texas has exploded by 23% in the last five years, and that D-FW computer-related tech jobs will grow 21% between 2021 and 2026.

Incentives to relocate to Texas

Many corporate executives have said in the past that Texas is more affordable and business friendly. That’s especially true for some of the newcomers — like Tesla — which got an estimated $46.4 million taken off its future property tax bills for moving here, thanks to a Texas incentive program called Chapter 313. It allows relocating companies to apply for a deep decade-long discount on their school property taxes. You may not want to read that as you get ready to pay yours in full again.

Critics have complained that the program amounts to expensive corporate welfare and that it burdens ordinary taxpayers. But supporters of Chapter 313 insist it has been very beneficial to Texas, bringing a lot of jobs here. And they argue that the reduced taxes a company pays are better than no taxes paid if the company doesn’t come here in the first place.

Bloomberg charted how many applications there have been for this big money incentive each year. Interesting thing: In the first five months of this year, the state has gotten at least 132 applications. That’s far more applications than it received in some entire previous years.

And that may be because Chapter 313 wasn’t renewed by the last legislature. Lawmakers may revive it next year when they convene again. But for now, the state is suggesting to businesses that want this tax break to get their applications in by June 1. 

From the Texas Comptroller’s website: “We cannot guarantee that an application submitted to the Comptroller’s office after June 1, 2022 will receive all approvals and the Texas Economic Development Act Agreement will be signed and executed by the school district and the company before December 31, 2022. Applications that are incomplete or have deficiencies will be delayed, making final approval less likely.”

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