Make that Eleven!
By: Dr. M. Ray Perryman
Published in syndication March 22, 2023
Texas continues its dominance in attracting major corporate locations and expansions, winning Site Selection magazine's "Governor's Cup" for an impressive eleventh consecutive year. The Cup is awarded to the state with the most projects involving a capital investment of at least $1 million, 20 or more new jobs, or 20,000 square feet of new construction.
Texas landed 1,028 projects in 2022, down slightly from 2021's record-setting 1,123. Second place was Illinois with 487, followed by Ohio (479), California, (375), Georgia (312), New York (309), and North Carolina (256). In other words, Texas lapped the field. On a projects-per-capita basis, Kansas was the winner and Texas ranked seventh.
A variety of industries and regions of the state are represented on the list of Texas' 25 largest projects. Several are chemicals and plastics or energy investments along the coast, including five with capital investments exceeding $4 billion each (two with over $8 billion). Another Gulf Coast Energy project ($1.7 billion), Electronics in Sherman ($5 billion), IT and Communication in Abilene ($2.4 billion), and Metals in Amarillo ($1.5 billion) comprise other projects with over a billion-dollar capital investment.
Amarillo captured two additional major projects in Food and Beverage, and IT and Communication projects are underway in Temple, Pflugerville, Corsicana, and San Marcos (a film studio). Several other industries and areas are represented, including Odessa, Georgetown, Hutchins, Sulphur Springs, Midlothian, Cedar Hill, Denton, and Irving. The bottom line is that people and businesses in communities across Texas are seeing enhanced opportunities due to this recent infusion.
Texas has a number of advantages, from a young and growing population (including substantial in-migration) to a location with natural resources ranging from oil and gas reserves to ports. Taxes and many other types of costs are lower here, both for individuals and firms. While the state relies on a property tax which falls heavily on capital-intensive industries, there are economic development tools such as value limitation agreements which have been utilized (and will hopefully be extended by the Legislature). Local economic development professionals across the state work diligently to enhance prosperity, and their efforts are bearing fruit.
Despite the past success, corporate location and expansion decisions are always forward looking, and continual improvement and vigilance is necessary. Billions in funding are already committed to investments in highways, water supplies, and other infrastructure. Adequate education funding is also essential, as schools deal with pandemic fallout, large numbers of English learners, and rapid growth in some areas. While Texas has long dominated this particular ranking, there are others in which the state does not fare as well.
Texas is well positioned to keep the momentum going, but there is work to be done. Stay safe!