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Public Citizen Statement on TX House Revival of Corporate Tax Giveaway Program that Favors Polluters

A similar now-expired program is estimated to cost Texas taxpayers $31 billion

AUSTIN, Texas – Today, the Texas House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to House Bill 5, a corporate tax giveaway program similar to the expired Chapter 313 that ended in 2022.

An analysis by the Houston Chronicle found that Chapter 313 put Texas taxpayers on the hook for $31 billion in property tax abatements over the program’s life, with $18 billion coming in the last seven months as corporations scrambled to take advantage before it expired.

The program’s new version in HB 5 also excludes the renewable energy industry from being able to participate, to the benefit of polluting industries. While HB 5 is also an attack on renewable energy, Public Citizen opposes corporate tax breaks and would not support this bill even if it did not exclude renewables. Adrian Shelley, the Texas director of Public Citizen, issued the following statement.

“Today’s vote shows that lawmakers of both parties are willing to enrich corporations and their wealthy executives. Polluting corporations took advantage of this program’s previous version and will surely rush back to feed at the public trough if this bill becomes law. Protecting public health should be a top priority, and the questionable benefits of these tax giveaways are nullified when they are used by industries that harm communities by polluting the air, land and water. The Legislature should be investing in people instead of finding ways for corporations to dodge paying their fair share of taxes.”

House Bill 5 will head to the Republican-controlled Senate after the House’s final passage.