T exas

Fall 2011

Susan Combs Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts | Partnering with local governments to solve important issues

Texas A&M Health Science Center Serves Both Students and Community.
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T Rising exas
Fall 2011

Susan Combs Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

West Texas — As Texas grows by thousands of new residents each week, businesses and industries are expanding their operations and building new facilities throughout the state. Here is a sampling of recently announced expansions in West Texas.
Texas Tech University is partnering with Sandia National Laboratories and The National Institute for Renewable Energy to build and operate a new wind energy testing facility at Reese Technology Center. Researchers will study rotor technologies and how turbines interact with each other. The facility is expected to be operational in spring 2012.


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Report a Pothole: There’s an app for that

A message from the Comptroller
Investment: It’s one word that spawns many actions. Investing takes a host of different forms and Texas communities benefit in many varied ways. From capital investments in education programs that enhance existing employees’ skills and grow the potential for the incoming workforce, to plant and facility investments that create jobs, Texas is an attractive proposition for existing operations and those new to the state. Health care is among the fastest - growing fields, expanding to serve the growing population and the needs of Americans who are living longer. Exciting developments are happening around Texas to support both research and patient care. I had the opportunity to visit the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s new Bryan campus that is providing research facilities and patient care for students and area residents on a single 200-acre site. The potential benefits for Texans from the discoveries made there and the care that patients receive are significant. Additionally, the economic benefit for the community is expected to reach a staggering $1.2 billion by 2015. Direct investment in people and their skills, particularly when competition for employment is fierce, has also been a focus for my office. After our 2008 Texas Works report, with the Legislature’s approval of the Jobs and Education for Texans program, my office administered grants to two-year colleges around the state. Traveling around Texas, I’ve seen the tangible results of the equipment grant investments. In this issue of Texas Rising, college faculty in Mesquite, Waco and Harlingen document the profound benefits of turning eager and talented — but inexperienced — students into well-trained workers in fields such as energy, nursing and welding. Communities also invest in the business recruitment process, invest in technology that benefits their citizens, and invest tax revenues and assets that support the long-term sustainability of their community. If you are reading this on the Comptroller’s Texas Ahead website or on Scribd.com, you may not know that Texas Rising is now published exclusively online. We’re saving on printing and mailing costs while still providing you with the thoughtful and informative articles you’ve become used to. If you haven’t done it, please subscribe to our email list, or the Comptroller’s Twitter feed (@TxComptroller) to receive new content notifications, as we continue to partner with you to tell success stories and inform you about the issues that could affect or benefit your community.

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New Texas A&M site combines research and patient care


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JET equipment grants improve training statewide

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ETCOG brings GIS into view

Fasken Oil and Ranch Ltd. has started construction of its new 60,000-square-foot corporate headquarters. The facility will house 150 current employees and is located within the company’s C Ranch at Holiday Hill Road and Sherwood Drive. It is Midland’s first major office project since the 1980s.

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Modernized prospect kits still important for recruitment

Midland Odessa Glasscock County
Crosstex Energy and Apache Corporation will invest a total of $85 million in a new cryogenic natural gas processing facility with a capacity of 50 MMcf per day. It is expected to be operational in mid 2012. The project will generate 100 temporary construction jobs and five permanent jobs. Crosstex has applied for a Chapter 313 property tax value limitation with the Comptroller’s office. Crosstex is seeking a $30 million valuation limit on a $65 million investment located within Glasscock County ISD .

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Conroe’s freeport exemption attracts business investment

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TexPool takes a careful approach

Parks Methodist Retirement Village is expanding by building a single-story assisted-living building and independent living apartment building. The $25 million project includes 70 assisted-living units, 80 independent-living apartments and 30 memory-care units. The existing retirement facility has 23 assisted living units, 55 independent living homes and 90 skilled nursing beds. It is expected to bring 100 jobs to Odessa.

For more information, visit the Office of the Governor Economic Development and Tourism Division at www.governor.state.tx.us/ecodev or Texas A&M University’s Real Estate Center at http://recenter.tamu.edu.

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KeepingTexasFirst.org Tracks Federal Environmental Regulatory Activity
During the 2009 and 2011 legislative sessions, the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts was given responsibility for providing policy and technical assistance to Texas communities, businesses and landowners to work within federal laws protecting endangered species in a manner consistent with the state’s economic development and fiscal stability. To that end, Comptroller Susan Combs’ office has launched a website at KeepingTexasFirst.org to inform Texans about federal action on endangered species, air and water. KeepingTexasFirst.org is the only state website that provides a one-stop spot for information on the more than 100 species in Texas currently proposed for new or modified listing under the Endangered Species Act, including comment periods, recent federal actions and explanations of the listing process. The site also focuses on air and water regulatory actions that impact jobs, energy production and economic development in Texas. TR

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Want to Report a Pothole?
by Brian Wellborn
When monitoring a whole county for problems, it’s good to have help — and Bexar County has plenty.

Bexar County citizens have an app for that.
Public Works to absorb the approximate 20 percent increase in roads without requesting additional staff.” Those types of results are getting noticed. The YourGov application received a 2011 County Best Practices Award from the Texas Association of Counties. In addition, the system has generated positive recognition and praise from a number of other cities and counties looking to replicate Bexar’s success. “I believe that our system is very replicable, no matter the size of the agency,” Booth says. “So far, Bell County, the city of Arlington, Missouri City, and Golden, Colo., have shown interest in the system, and Golden has actually implemented its own YourGov system.” TR
Are you interested in putting a system like YourGov to work in your community? Find out more from software developer Cartegraph at www.cartegraph.com/index.php/solutions/yourgov. To learn more about Bexar County’s YourGov system, visit http://inf.bexar.org/infraAnn_YourGOV.asp.

Residents spot a problem, Bexar County responds
Bexar County’s YourGov system has so far benefitted all parties involved, according to county staff. Residents enjoy a fast, high-tech way to request services, and the county can operate more efficiently thanks to the system’s tracking of assets and personnel. To get an idea, take a look at the following service records: Sign repair: Aug. 31, 2011, 10:39 a.m. A “Stop Ahead” sign was reported knocked down. Service center staff saw the request and dispatched a two-person crew to re-install the sign. The work was completed by 3:30 p.m. the same day. Illegal dumping: Aug. 11, 2011, 8:28 a.m. A person dumped trash illegally in a county right of way. A crew was dispatched and the trash was removed by 12:58 p.m. the same day. Right of way maintenance: May 3, 2011, 2:37 p.m. Brush had blocked a school zone sign. Initially the Traffic Department inspected the issue, but the project was too big for them to handle. The next morning the job was reassigned to the Streets and Drainage Department, which removed the limbs from the right of way by 10 a.m.

project manager. “Basically, anyone with a smartphone becomes an inspector and can provide us with problems that our staff may not have been able to get to during a regular work day.” Booth notes that residents have the option of checking up on requests if they register on the YourGov Web portal, and says overall response to the system has been positive. “We have received good feedback from our residents,” Booth says. “They’re glad to see us using the latest technology to increase our productivity, and they also like the transparency of our Web portal.” County officials have also been pleased with YourGov, which has helped streamline operations, according to County Engineer Renee Green, PE. “Through the innovative leadership at commissioners court, the county has accelerated the use of new technologies to enhance our workflow and create greater efficiency all within a paperless environment,” Green says. “These automated applications have allowed

In January, Bexar County paired with municipal technology provider Cartegraph to launch YourGov, an application allowing any resident with a smartphone to report non-emergency issues and request county services on the fly. Those without smartphones can access YourGov via the Web. The most common requests concern potholes and sidewalk repairs, according to the county. An average request plays out like this: A resident is out riding her bike and sees a pothole. She fills out a quick form on the YourGov smartphone app, snaps a picture with her phone and sends a bundle of helpful data to the county. On the county’s side, the YourGov system assigns the request to a work crew. They use the picture, as well as location information captured by the phone, to locate the pothole. Often crews complete work orders within hours. “One efficiency for the county is the extra eyes that are on the road,” says Jeff Booth, Bexar County’s senior information technology

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Photos by Raul Santos

New facilities are shaping the Texas A&M Health Science Center (TAMHSC) campus in Bryan, providing learning and working space for a variety of student and private ventures. In summer 2011, TAMHSC opened the fourth building on the 200-acre Bryan campus, offering services to students and area residents.
Expanded facilities benefit students and community
by Clint Shields
“What is unique about what’s happened here is the combination of academic settings along with research and private clinical practice,” says Barry Nelson, Ph.D., TAMHSC’s vice president for finance and administration. Funds for the Bryan campus’ construction came from the Permanent University Fund, tuition revenue bonds and private investments. The TAMHSC is expected to have a $1.2 billion economic impact on the Bryan/College Station region by 2015. Shaping the Medical Future Construction plans for the Bryan campus focused on consolidating the academic programs and administration that previously were scattered throughout Bryan and College Station. The first building opened in 2010 and by summer 2011, four buildings were complete, providing more than 536,000 square feet of educational, clinical and research space. Having a first-class facility for education and research was the driving force behind development of a campus in Bryan, Nelson says, and there is certainly room for expansion, with additional research and public policy buildings in the works — at least in the planning stages.

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Illustrations by Jeremy Van Pelt

Photos by TAMHSC

“What is unique about what’s happened here is the combination of academic settings along with research and private clinical practice.”
— Barry Nelson, TAMHSC “We have lots of plans, we just need the funding,” Nelson says. “The plan is to create a premier academic setting coupled with industry sites and practice sites and we are following that plan.” Vision for Excellence Bringing together the various components of the Texas A&M Health Science Center factored heavily into the city of Bryan gifting 200 acres to the TAMHSC. The campus is about two miles from the main Texas A&M University campus and includes shuttle service between the two Texas A&M System entities. In addition to the academic setting, Bryan officials stipulated that 50 acres be devoted to supporting private industry. The marriage of academics and private industry has grown to be a good one. “I think it was important for [the city of] Bryan, from a visionary standpoint, to have this nucleus,” says Nelson. “You look around and see this exciting academic setting with the health science center, Blinn College’s two-year programs, clinical services and research and you’ve got a great package. It’s a nice blend and it works.” TR More information on the Texas A&M Health Science Center’s Bryan campus is available online at http://tamhsc.edu/campuses/bryan/index.html.

1 Clinical Building I — The newest of the campus build-

3 Medical Research and Education Building — Slightly

ings, it has about 127,000 square feet of space and opened in August 2011. Clinical Building I houses student training space and equipment, as well as clinical services available to the public through partners such as the Texas Brain and Spine Institute, a Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center, a St. Joseph Health System imaging center and various vocational health programs taught by Blinn College.
2 Health Professions Education Building — At more

smaller than the Health Professions Education Building, it contains research laboratories and support spaces, seminar rooms and a scientific display area.
4 Caliber Biotherapeutics — A biotherapeutic manufac-

turing initiative, Caliber researches new technologies to shorten infectious disease vaccine production and occupies a 145,000-square-foot facility constructed and managed by G-Con LLC.

than 132,000 square feet, it houses lecture and seminar rooms, a learning resource center and library. The building also contains a simulation center with multiple exam and training rooms.

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JET Equipment Grants
Who’s being trained on the JET equipment?
Annually, an estimated 8,288 students will be served by JET funded equipment. 3,216 Health Professionals 1,753 Precision Production Students 1,463 Engineering Technologies Technicians 720 Mechanical & Repair Students

Forty-four Texas community colleges and technical schools have bought state-of-the-art equipment in the past two years to train students for a wide range of high-demand careers, thanks to the Comptroller’s $10 million Every Chance Job Building Fund.

Improve Workforce Training Statewide
by Tracey Lamphere
The state’s investment in 61 workforce training programs, made possible by the 2009 Jobs and Education for Texans (JET) legislation, was matched by local dollars that will train more than 8,200 students annually. The training on JET-funded equipment will bring tangible financial benefits to every successful student and their families; on average, students should annually earn $17,663 more than they would with no postsecondary education. In spring 2012, about $2 million is expected to be available for another round of equipment grants; all schools (even those previously funded) will be eligible to apply. District campus that secured JET equipment grant funds. “Without the JET grant I do not believe Eastfield College, in these troubled financial times, could afford to equip a renewable energy program,” says Dr. Chuck Dale, Electronics and Electronics Systems Technology Department program coordinator at Eastfield. “Having the wind turbine up and working has brought immediate attention to the fact that Eastfield has a renewable energy program. Overnight, the wind turbine has become a symbol of Eastfield’s progressive curriculums.” The grant also funded solar panels, pneumatic simulators, roof simulators, computers, solar thermal collectors and programmable logic controller units. This semester, 14 students are enrolled in the alternative energy course and are on track to receive their Solar Certificate in May 2012 or their Renewable Energy Certificate, which includes both wind and solar training, by May 2013.
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Photos Courtesy of Texas State Technical College - Harlingen

A Powerful Program
Students and faculty at Eastfield College in Mesquite recently erected a 50-foot, 3.5-kilowatt wind turbine for its new Alternative/Sustainable Energy Program. The program received $147,098 in 2010 and is the only Dallas Community College

455 Construction Trade Students

439 Science and Techologies Technicians

243 Computer & Information Science Support Students

Source: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts

“The guys are getting a lot more practice now. They have a lot more machines to work with. ”
— Kenny Moore, Welding Technology chairman

Helping Others Breathe More Easily
Waco’s McLennan Community College received $147,762 in JET equipment grant funding for its respiratory care technician program in 2010. Students there had been using equipment that was up to 10 years old, says Doug Gibson, program director. “It’s like learning to drive with a 1999 Ford and then having to drive a 2011 model. Chances are you’ll know how to start the car, but you may not know how other components work because technology has come a long way,” Gibson says. “Before the JET grant, our resources were limited to what was donated from area hospitals.” The matching funds helped McLennan College buy pulse which prepares them for management roles or teaching, Gibson says.

Pieces Come Together

A $45,000 JET equipment grant beefed up the welding program at Texas State Technical College in Harlingen. The associate in applied science (AAS) degree program was launched in 2009, but two courses were not as strong as officials would have liked them to be, says Kenny Moore, Welding Technology chairman. “We’ve had a lot of students going through our AAS program. The problem was we were lacking in equipment for those last two semesters, for introduction to metallurgy and codes and inspection classes,” says Moore. “It has really transformed those two classes into a really well-rounded program. The guys are getting a lot more practice now. They have a lot more — Doug Gibson, McLennan Community College machines to work with. Before the grant, it was

“Before the JET grant, our resources were limited to what was donated from area hospitals.”

oximeters, which monitor oxygen levels in the body, and buy the same type of ventilators used at Waco-area hospitals where students hope to find jobs after graduation. The program graduated 25 students in spring 2011 and has 30 enrolled this fall. After graduation, students are eligible to take credentialing exams to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist and Registered Respiratory Therapist. They can then pursue entry-level registered respiratory therapist positions. Students also have the option to transfer to a four-year school to earn a bachelor’s degree in respiratory care,
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basically just talking about them, showing them on the board, showing them on the overhead.” In fall 2011, there are 80 students enrolled in TSTC-Harlingen’s welding certificate program and 25 students in the AAS program. a “They have a good chance to get into any type of industry that they are interested in,” Moore says. “Our placement rate has been over 90 percent for the last three years. That is a good percentage especially for the times that we are in right now.” TR Find out more about post-secondary education opportunities in Texas and the JET Every Chance Job Building Fund equipment grants at the Comptroller’s EveryChanceEveryTexan.org website.

difference it is making.


GIS maps move East Texas governments into the future
by Michael Castellon

Strength is found in numbers and innovation is found in collaboration.
This fundamental formula is behind a partnership in East Texas that is working to solve big problems while benefitting taxpayers with cost-efficient services. Local governments in the East Texas GIS Consortium are partnering to build a geographic information system (GIS) infrastructure to improve public services, and you don’t need to look far to see the

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Similarly, Gladewater officials recently used GIS data to calculate the length and condition of street segments — a practice that traditionally requires a worker walking streets with a measuring wheel, costing several weeks of fieldwork and resources. GIS data allowed the distances to be calculated in a matter of minutes. In Anderson County, the sheriff’s department uses GIS technology to access emergency response information from the field. “ETCOG’s GIS technology makes a big difference in our region,” says Kris Gandham, who serves as associate director of transportation for the East Texas Council of Governments. “For about $5,000 for each entity, we can provide all of our members, irrespective of their size or tax base, access to a full-fledged GIS system.”

“ETCOG’s GIS technology makes
a big difference in our region”
— Kris Gandham, East Texas Council of Government The consortium operates under the direction of the East Texas Council of Governments (ETCOG), an already chummy and productive network of counties and other governmental entities with a shared commitment toward smart government. GIS encompasses the technology and analysis of electronic maps and the data they represent. It’s like your GPS, but with a brain and a hard drive, allowing officials and workers to spot geographic trends with satellite images without so much time in the field. The East Texas GIS Consortium’s goal is to share otherwise costly GIS systems, similar to a co-op, creating savings that ultimately benefit East Texas taxpayers. The city of Rusk, for example, mapped its fire hydrants and analyzed the data to identify underserved areas. By spotting deficiencies in hydrant service, officials can preempt disasters and other emergencies.


Gandham says the partnership has more big plans for the future, including expanded economic development planning that involves GIS data. “GIS helps us answer a lot of difficult questions, including [showing how] tax values and jobs are distributed across a specified area,” he says. “GIS tools allow us to identify trends and examine the impact new businesses might have on a given area. The possibilities are limitless, and fortunately, cost-effective.” TR For more information on the East Texas Council of Governments and to view other GIS projects visit www.etcog.org.

Partnering for Better Benefits
The East Texas GIS Consortium is a network of local governments in 14 counties that strives to make government operations more innovative and efficient. By partnering, governments benefit and better serve taxpayers. Building the partnership involved communicating member benefits, says Kris Gandham, associate director of transportation for the East Texas Council of Governments. Consortium members enjoy a variety of benefits, including: Shared Costs: The $100,000 GIS system cost is greatly offset by members that each pay $5,000, but enjoy full use of the technology. GIS and GPS Training: Consortium members have access to training in basic to advanced use of digital mapping and analysis, and training in the use of mapping devices. Web Hosting: Access to online storage of GIS data and websites for officials, developers and community members.

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Prospecting for
by Mark Wangrin

Trips to the post office to mail prospect kits to businesses interested in relocating to Denison are fewer and far between now for Tony Kaai.
That doesn’t mean businesses have lost interest in relocating to the North Texas city; these days the only mailbox they need to check to receive materials about potential economic development opportunities is on their computers. “We still have printed materials that cover all the basic information about our business environment, but most of that information can be downloaded from our website,” says Kaai, president of the Denison Development Alliance. “We have our ‘image piece’ now done in an electronic format. All of our data is in electronic format. We very seldom mail out hard copies of anything anymore.” In the old, snail-mail days, communities would send prospect kits to businesses they hoped to recruit. Inside would be fancy printed materials with glossy color photos and dated information tied to most recent revisions. “The prospect kit provides the first impression of the community,” Kaai says. “It’s less important today because that first impression will be developed once the prospect goes to our website.” If a prospective business takes the bait, the development alliance can customize further communications to focus on issues relative to the particular company, such as costs associated with doing that type of business, state and local tax codes, available financial incentives, quality of life issues and other pertinent factors. The development alliance also has established social media presences via Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin, although Kaai said they are still working on how to best use new media. Kaai says maintaining an up-to-date inventory on available facilities is a valuable tool for any economic development professional. “It depends on the type of business — say manufacturing, call centers, retail — but the No. 1 attraction is the availability of existing facilities,” he says. “More than 80 percent of all good leads come to us because of a vacant building that we may have in town.” Kaai says Denison recently attracted a call center because the city owned a suitable building that was about to be vacated. Keeping existing businesses happy is also vital. “If your local industries aren’t happy about being in your city, you will not have much success recruiting new business,” he says. • A community’s labor force draw area — from which employees or potential employees are willing to commute for jobs — can be documented by asking the community’s major employers, public and private, for employee counts by zip code. The results will define that community’s labor force draw area, and allow an effective compilation of labor force data to provide to prospects. • Even smaller cities need to show data and information in map format, in addition to lists or a tabular format. Prospects are often unfamiliar with communities they are investigating, and mapping helps orient them, allows visual learning and accelerates their ability to understand the community. • Build a list of company executives in the community who can meet with potential new companies and offer their positive experiences operating a business there. Often a prospect will want to meet with companies doing business in the community to get first-person information on hiring, costs, community attitudes, traffic and other issues. TR

Design the Best Prospect Kit
Mike Rosa, vice president for economic development, at the Dallas Regional Chamber, offers these tips to communities assembling an Internet-based prospect kit:

Learn Eco-Devo from the Best The Texas Economic Development Corporation sponsors the annual Workforce Excellence Awards that recognize communities that show innovation, transferability, community commitment and leverage, measured objectives and secondary benefits in their job creation activities. Winners of the 2011 award were Dumas Economic Development Corporation, Mount Pleasant Industrial Foundation, Richardson Economic Development Partnership (pictured), San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and Workforce Solutions Tarrant County.

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Tax Freedom in
by Clint Shields

over a 10-year period; they’ve also added about $290 million in capital investment and created approximately 1,900 jobs. The freeport exemption is used by eight of those 10 companies. Conroe’s close proximity to Houston and international shipping lanes is another plus for businesses looking to move products out of the state. Bauer Manufacturing, which produces drilling rigs for customers around the world, occupies 80 acres and employs 40 people in Conroe. The location and freeport exemption are both big pluses for Bauer. “The freeport exemption has helped Bauer Manufacturing improve our bottom line by legally reducing our annual inventory tax liability,” says Tom Jarboe, Bauer’s chief executive officer. “Because some Texas taxing districts do not allow the freeport exemption, it was a big factor in our decision to establish our business in Montgomery County.” “The freeport exemption certainly highlights the package we can present to companies that are considering moving to the area,” Stinson says. “It’s been a very successful tool for us.” The History of Freeport The freeport exemption can help local governments and taxing entities draw businesses from other areas and states that do not offer tax incentives. Enacted in 1989, the exemption affects various types of property that are held in Texas for 175 days or less and are designated for shipment outside of the state. Assembly, storage, manufacturing and processing are among the reasons why the property is in Texas before being sent out of the state. Interest in freeport and its use have grown in recent years. In 1999, only 85 Texas school districts granted the exemption. By 2010, 165 districts enacted the exemption, and more than 5,200 exemptions were granted among Texas taxing entities. The exemptions removed more than $23 billion from local taxing units appraisal rolls statewide. TR
For an overview of the Freeport program, visit: www.texasahead.org/reports/incentives/fe.php

TexPool Takes a CarefulApproach
by David Bloom

It’s just another hot morning in late summer 2011 and Tom Stinson, director of the Greater Conroe Economic Development Council, is about to go on a site visit to meet with representatives from a company considering moving its operation to the Conroe area.
The move would create about $120 million in capital investment in Conroe. “Something like that would be a big deal,” Stinson says, adding that interest in the area has blossomed. “It’s been anything but quiet around here.” Texas’ overall business climate is already attractive to companies considering a move. But locally, Conroe employs a freeport tax exemption to help. Freeport exempts certain tangible personal property types from ad valorem taxation provided that the property is: • acquired in or imported into Texas to be forwarded out of state; • held in Texas for assembling, storing, manufacturing, processing or fabricating purposes by the person who acquired or imported it; and • transported out of state within 175 days after the date it was acquired or imported into Texas. “Texas is a state that taxes inventory, and that’s an important consideration for many manufacturers,” Stinson says. “Prior to five or six years ago, the hospital district and [Montgomery] County offered freeport, but the school district and the city of Conroe did not.” The Conroe Independent School District and the city have since adopted the exemption. When a taxing entity adopts the exemption, it applies throughout the entity’s entire jurisdiction. The more territory that falls under the exemption, the more attractive the incentive is for interested companies. Ten Conroe companies currently benefiting from local economic development have paid $87 million in local taxes

Paul Ballard, CEO and Chief Investment Officer of the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company, is one SLY guy when it comes to money.
To Ballard, SLY isn’t about cunning ways; it’s the acronym that defines TexPool’s conservative approach to protecting and growing financial resources. TexPool invests exclusively in U.S. government securities, repurchase agreements backed by U.S. government securities and AAA-rated money market mutual funds. For local governments that have the legal authority to put their money into commercial paper and certificates of deposit, there’s a separate pool called TexPool Prime. Both are rated AAAm by Standard & Poor’s. This, the highest rating a state government investment pool can earn, is essentially a seal of approval of the SLY approach. The benefits that TexPool brings to the investment marketplace extend to entities that don’t participate in the fund, because its low fee structure helps drive down the costs throughout the sector. “As someone who has the responsibility for our county’s finances, I can’t just put our money out there and hope for the best,” says Vivian Wood, Williamson County treasurer and a member of the TexPool Advisory Board. “I want to know exactly what our investments are and the terms of those deals. TexPool’s transparency gives me that.” And when financial rumblings across the world may have implications for the safety and soundness of TexPool’s investments, Wood is glad to have TTSTC and Federated watching out for Williamson County’s taxpayers. “There’s no one in Greece I can call,” she says. “But when I call TexPool, someone always gets back to me right away with detailed answers to my questions.” Participants in TexPool also have access to a variety of online training through the online TexPool Academy. The Web-based curriculum allows finance professionals in local government to complete required training under the Texas Public Funds Investment Act in a cost-efficient way. Since 2009, the TexPool Academy has delivered 720 courses to nearly 150 government entities. TR
Find out more about the State of Texas investments and annual Treasury reports at www.ttstc.org.

Paul Ballard, CEO and Chief Investment Officer Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company

“It’s all about safety (S) of principal, liquidity (L) and yield (Y),” Ballard says. “So our focus is, first and foremost, not to lose money. Further, we want it to be readily accessible when pool participants need it, and, finally, local governments expect to see a return that expands their coffers.” TexPool was created by the Texas Legislature in 1989 to give local government entities access to a state-sponsored investment fund. The Comptroller’s office, which oversees TexPool, delegates authority for its management to its subsidiary operation, the Texas Treasury Safekeeping Trust Company. Federated Investors administers the program, handling investment management, marketing and an array of client services.

Save the Date, Keep the Exemption
April 30 is an annual red-letter date for the freeport tax exemption. Companies requesting the exemption must file the completed exemption application between January 1 and April 30 in the year the exemption is requested. Despite the exemption’s benefits, not all businesses take advantage of it. “I have found that a lot of Texas businesses that sell their products outside of Texas are not familiar with the law,” says Tom Jarboe, chief executive officer of Bauer Manufacturing. “I urge every Texas business to check with their CPA to see if the freeport exemption will apply to their operation.”

TexPool at a Glance
TexPool launched in 1989 attracting investments from 209 local entities. The fund’s average annual balance was $587 million and it paid out $47.7 million. In 2011, 2,200 government entities participate in TexPool with total assets of $14.05 billion. TexPool Prime has almost 130 investors and $1.1 billion in assets. For the most current information, visit www.TexPool.com. 43.0 %

2.3 % Portfolio Overviews as of 9/30/11 54.7% Pool Assets $14.05 billion Portfolio Composition Repurchase Agreements Agencies Treasuries

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T Rising exas
Fall 2011
Texas Rising is one of the ways the Comptroller’s office strives to assist taxpayers and the people of Texas. The newsletter is a byproduct of the Comptroller’s constitutional responsibilities to monitor the state’s economy and to estimate state government revenues. Articles and analysis appearing in Texas Rising do not necessarily represent the policy or endorsement of the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts. Space is devoted to a wide variety of topics of Texas interest and general government concern.

Best of Texas
Newsweek Says Texas Cities Can-Do
eek ewsw N from

Delane Caesar

Director of Data Services Creative Directors
Beth Hallmark and Dan Lynch

Editorial Team Leader
Karen Hudgins

Gerard MacCrossan

Staff Writers
David Bloom, Michael Castellon, Tracey Lamphere, Clint Shields, Mark Wangrin, Brain Wellborn and Bruce Wright

Best Can-Do US Cities
City El Paso, TX San Antonio, TX Austin, TX Dallas, TX Fort Worth, TX

Graphics Team Leader
Dwain Osborne

Art Direction and Layout
Jeremy Van Pelt

Staff Photography/Videography
Raul Santos and Jeremy Van Pelt

Web Team Leader
Drew Scherz

Web Publications Coordinator
Julie Lewis

El Paso, Texas ‘Best Can - Do City’
Five Texas cities “have it going on” even in the face of economic worries, according to a 2011 Newsweek comparison of the 200 largest U.S. cities. El Paso leads the pack with strong scores for business development; transportation and infrastructure; sustainability; and livability. Assigning each of those categories a point value, Newsweek ranked its list of “Can-Do Capitals” while considering emissions, education levels and unemployment.

Comptroller field offices are located in Abilene, Amarillo, Austin, Beaumont, Brownsville, Bryan, Corpus Christi, Dallas, Denton, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Laredo, Lubbock, Lufkin, McAllen, Odessa, San Angelo, San Antonio, Sherman, Tyler, Victoria, Waco and Wichita Falls, as well as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York and Tulsa.

Toll-free telephone line: (800) 531-5441, ext. 3-3116; in Austin, 463-3116.

Window on State Government is on the World Wide Web at www.window.state.tx.us. Online subscriptions, renewals or cancellations of Texas Rising may be entered at www.TexasRising.org
The Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age or disability in employment or in the provision of any services, programs or activities. In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, this document may be requested in alternative formats. Contact the Data Services Division at (512) 463-4900 or (800) 531-5441, ext. 3-4900 (VOICE), (512) 463-4226 (FAX), or visit the LBJ State Office Building, 111 E. 17th St., Room 311, Austin, Texas. Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Publication #96-1260, Fall 2011

San Antonio, Texas

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Austin, Texas

Economic Development and Analysis Profile: TJ Costello
Role: Manages the Event Trust Funds for the Comptroller’s Economic Development and Analysis Division. Also serves as an analyst on local and state economic development issues. Works with: Local governments, state and federal agencies, economic development professionals, area economic experts, and anyone interested in state economic development programs. Qualifications: Holds a master’s degree from the LBJ School at UT-Austin and a bachelor’s degree in applied economics from Ithaca College in New York. TJ has served in market research roles for national and international firms; economic development positions for local and regional governmental organizations, and has undertaken extensive research on topics important to Texas, including transportation, education and the impact of economic policies. Quote: “Since joining the Comptroller’s Office, I have enjoyed working with many groups here in Texas focused on growing our economy. Assisting in state and local economic development has been very rewarding in that by helping Texas’ localities grow, they and the state are able to increase revenues and do other great things.” Explore Economic Development tools at www.TexasAhead.org.

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