Texas does a better job than most other states when it comes to disclosing how its taxpayer-subsidized jobs programs work, says Good Jobs First, which bills itself as a non-partisan watchdog focusing on economic development efforts. In a report titled "Show Us the Subsidized Jobs," released Wednesday, the group said Texas has the seventh-best disclosure practices, although even the leader, Illinois, only scored a 65 on a scale of 100. Texas earned a 40 overall. The Texas Economic Development Act program received an 86, the highest for any state jobs program. That measure allows the state's independent school districts to offer property tax reductions to businesses. It was just extended another 10 years by the 2013 Legislature.
Four other Texas programs were rated: the Texas Emerging Technology Fund (score of 61); the Texas Enterprise Fund (53); Film Tax Credits (0) and Skills Development Fund (0). The Emerging Technology Fund and Enterprise Fund are the largest and are both run out of the governor's office. A link to the report is here.
-- Jim Fuquay