ICYMI: Governor Abbott: The Texas ‘Economic Miracle’ Is Far From Finished
The Texas ‘Economic Miracle’ Is Far From Finished
By Governor Greg Abbott
Freedom is the intangible but very real promise of Texas that encourages businesses to grow in the Lone Star State.
It's no surprise Texas is again ranked the best state for business—for the 11th year in a row—according to Chief Executive's survey of the nation's top CEOs.
Businesses succeed in Texas because we've built a framework that allows free enterprise to flourish. Less government, lower taxes, smarter regulations and right-to-work laws—these are the pro-growth economic policies attracting employers to Texas from states that overtax and over-regulate.
That framework also means innovation thrives here. More Texas entrepreneurs are willing to risk their hard-earned capital in new businesses and new jobs.
But a framework is only as solid as the foundation on which it is built. Here in Texas, ours is built on bedrock: Our greatest natural resource is the people of Texas.
Hardworking Texans have forged a strong and diversified economy, growing more jobs in Texas last year than any year in the history of our state.
Earlier this year, on behalf of job creators and community leaders across Texas, I was proud to accept the third Governor's Cup in a row from Site Selection magazine for the most new or expanded corporate facility projects of $1 million or more. Showing the geographic breadth of these job-creating capital investments, Odessa, Houston and Dallas were also named among the top metros for business facilities growth.
While some may dismiss our economic dominance as due only to our energy leadership, we are also among the top states for technology, manufacturing and health-care jobs. Over the past year, Texas added jobs in all 11 major industries.
Businesses only expand where the workforce is ready. With the third youngest median age in the country, Gallup shows that employees here are among the most engaged in the nation. Attracted by a relatively low cost of living, no state personal income tax and job growth across all wage quartiles, Americans are relocating to Texas more than to any other state. As a result, half of Forbes' top 10 cities for future job growth are in Texas, including Austin, McAllen, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.
Even as our population expands, the Texas unemployment rate has been at or below the national rate for 100 consecutive months. In April it held at 4.2 percent, the lowest since July 2007. In fact, if not for Texas' record job growth, the nation as a whole would have experienced a net job loss since 2007.
Texas is exceptional, but challenges remain.
As governor, I will not be complacent.
To spur a new era of economic expansion in Texas, we are cutting the burdensome business franchise tax and property taxes by nearly $4 billion, freeing businesses and homeowners to invest more in new jobs, higher wages and stimulating the Texas economy.
To decrease the cost of doing business, we are reining in regulatory regimes that create a patchwork of compliance complexities. We are investing in infrastructure, adding nearly $4 billion more per year for roads without raising tolls, fees, taxes or debt. Moreover, while already No. 1 for exports, we are focusing on attracting more foreign direct investments to make Texas a hub for global commerce.
Because technologies not yet invented will drive continuing innovation, we are committing $450 million to elevate our university research programs and to attract even more nationally recognized researchers and Nobel Laureates to our higher-education institutions. We are making college more affordable and ensuring the path to career and technical training is cleared of obstacles. And while already experiencing the second-highest high school graduation rate in the nation and the highest for black and Hispanic students, we are aiming to be the No. 1 education system in America.
Finally, as governor, I will continue my legacy of pushing back against the heavy hand of federal over-regulation, whether it's Obamacare, Dodd-Frank or the EPA.
By unleashing the power of entrepreneurs and innovators—and securing the freedom to aspire—Texas will long remain the best state for business.
When businesses succeed, Texans succeed.