Incentives help pull business out of Austin and to the suburbs

PFLUGERVILLE, Texas (KXAN) — The City of Austin could lose out on thousands of dollars in tax revenue with more and more businesses opting to open their doors outside the city limits.

“The traffic around (Austin) is complicated more and more,” said Luis Centeno, owner of El Lago Mexican Foods. Centeno is working out of a temporary office in North Austin as he prepares to move his move his tortilla chip company and its 45 employees to a brand new Pflugerville business complex. “And we’re a company that respect the environment. We think it’s better to take our operation outside of the city.”

El Lago is one of five companies that have left Austin for Pflugerville in the last year, a total of 480 jobs. The city’s incentives are part of attraction.

“We’re giving them a cash grant of $1,500 per employee,” said Floyd Akers with the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation. “As they move into town they’ll be able to use that money for rent, moving expenses, or whatever they want to do with that money.”

Akers says two new hotels and other businesses will be opening soon near State Highway 130.

“By us collecting more sales tax and more property tax in the community from businesses, we’re able to reduce property taxes,” Akers said. “In fact Pflulgerville is the only city in Central Texas, and probably in the state of Texas, that has reduced taxes 11 years in a row.”

While some businesses are leaving Austin, new ones are coming. Austin’s Chamber says 23 companies have relocated to the city since the beginning of the year, bringing nearly 2,700 new jobs to town.

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