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HB 3390’s goal is to expand property tax appraisal limitations (incentives) provided by the Texas Economic Development Act, such as a new exemption for a “Texas Priority Project,” in which an applicant promises to make a “qualified investment” of $1 billion. HB 3390 ads to the criteria to be a “qualified job,” that the employer must provide a group health benefit plan that complies with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. HB 3390 places an emphasis on economic development in Strategic Investment Areas, such as counties experiencing higher unemployment and lower wages than the average Texas county, defense economic readjustment zones, and federally designated urban enterprise communities. The comptroller is given the authority to designate strategic investment areas.
The Legislative Budget Board (LBB) projects a significant negative impact on Texas starting 2017, in the amount of $29 million. This negative impact increases into the future, with costs reaching $228 million in 2022 and $267 million in 2023.
HB 3390 limits government by reducing the property tax burdens of qualified businesses. As the LBB shows, HB 3390 will dramatically reduce the amount of funds government can take from qualifying businesses, and these businesses will be able to keep more of their resources, which is a promotion of their property rights. However, HB 3390 requires a business to comply with portions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) to qualify for this tax exemption. TPPA strongly opposes any law that will require Texas companies to facilitate the implementation of PPACA.
The bulk of HB 3390 is supportable, but we can not support HB 3390 unless it is amended to strike Section 313.021(3) (D), as amended by HB 3390, that requires businesses to comply with PPACA strictures to qualify for HB 3390's exemption. If such an amendment is not adopted, vote "no," on HB 3390.