Foreign Corporation Bribed With Millions of Texas Taxpayer Dollars

Officials in San Antonio are celebrating the decision by a Czech company to establish its U.S. headquarters in San Antonio, after promises of millions in incentives and grants paid for by Texas taxpayers and businesses.

The announcement came in late October, with the company, Okin BPS, expected to bring more than 1,400 jobs and a capital investment of $23 million. Okin, a European company, handles business services such as customer support, billing, and project management for IT and telecom firms.

Figures provided by the city claim that over half of the new jobs will pay more than $50,000 a year for positions that include human resources, tech, and accounting.

Reports say that Okin will likely receive tax abatements and grants from the city, county, and state entities worth millions, including a lucrative $6.6 million from the “deal-closing” Texas Enterprise Fund.

Gov. Greg Abbott applauded the decision and attributed it to local leadership and the Texas Model of a low tax and regulatory environment, saying “In Texas, we have created a very business-friendly climate that attracts businesses like Okin.”

While Abbott is not wrong about the state’s attractive business environment, Texas Scorecard has regularly reported on the failures of these tax-funded incentives, namely in producing the quantity and quality of jobs promised, but also the higher taxes on locals that result from tax breaks and handouts. One could expect that the other “half” of jobs created by Okin to be low-wage call center positions, should they materialize at all.

A recent study by the Mercatus Center at George Mason University showed that the elimination of such incentives could enable a slashing of business taxes by almost 25 percent. Doing so would benefit all Texans and businesses alike by creating an even more friendly environment for markets to flourish, particularly in a state that regularly lauds its own conservative fiscal policies.

 

 

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Salvador Ayala

Sal is the Budget & Policy Analyst for Empower Texans. He has been a committed proponent of American founding principles since 2007, shortly after receiving his J.D. from Chicago-Kent College of Law. Before joining Empower Texans, he served as legislative director for Rep. Matt Rinaldi in the Texas house and was a delegate to the 2012 RNC. In his leisure, Sal enjoys live music, digital photography, guitar, bicycling, trivia, and documentary films.

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