back to article Samsung seeks to have almost $1bn shaved off property taxes for planned Texas semiconductor fab

Samsung is seeking a taxpayer bung of almost $1bn for its proposed semiconductor fabrication plant in Texas, according to documents filed with the state. The requested package [PDF] includes tax reductions from the city of Austin, Travis County, and the Manor Independent School District, as well as unspecified "assistance" …

  1. Snake Silver badge

    Let us set a filter here

    So let's sort through a few typical corporate claims made.

    Samsung claims "3,000 new jobs!", but history has proven that such claims factor in the construction jobs for building the plant, which are of course only temporary until the project is finished. I do not believe, in today's modern facilities, that 3,000 jobs in a fabrication plant is to be expected as long-term placements; 3,000 fab jobs seems very, very high. The "1,800 would be directly employed by the company" is the telltale, here - employed, doing what, exactly? And at what pay? Low wage cleanup and other such jobs aren't worth your tax abatement bill, buddy.

    Out of the proposed $17bn building cost, very very very little, if any in terms of higher-cost things like materials, will go back into the local economy. Unless Austin has a competitive steel building supply industry that Samsung will give the contract to. The materials will come from all over the world, some will come from America; the architects, engineers and machinery can be counted as coming from everywhere except Austin, Texas. Austin will get a several-year boost in construction jobs, a few supply and leasing business will get a nice boost, and certainly delis and food suppliers will get a healthy boost from feeding the construction workers.

    Then, it'll all dry up after construction is completed.

    'We can look elsewhere (if you don't pay us enough)', which is quite true...thanks to American corporate welfare (but individual welfare is to be reviled!). "Corporate welfare?" you ask, believing that giving a tax break to a company is good for the district? Oh, but who is going to pay for the much, much heavier burden on the water supply system (fab plants ain't no desert operation), water treatment, road maintenance and police oversight, not to mention any and all long and short-term environmental impacts? The current occupants of said district. While the company...gets a [paid by the neighbors] break on all aforementioned costs.

    Who needs socialism? America has great corporatism, it's working just fine here.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let us set a filter here

      While we have certainly seen stories like that play out, especially in regards to data centers, I'd say there are some real benefits getting advanced fabs running on US soil. As Samsung and TSMC own production on advanced fab processes in the next couple process nodes, having all of the bleeding edge fabs on China's doorstep is a real concern.

      And since the tax breaks currently being negotiated have a sunset period, the state will be able to re-assert more normal taxation down the road, once the fab is running full tilt. While Samsung doesn't NEED these incentives, Texas is playing a smart game to make sure the new fab doesn't end up in Prescott or Washington.

      It may not be the best deal in history, but it's probably better then no deal. Why stop there though? Biden should ask for a credit in fab time for NASA and the three letter agencies.

    2. HildyJ Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Let us set a filter here

      You are right in your assessment but ultimately this isn't about the specific jobs, it's about Austin's goal of becoming a major tech hub and the jobs and investments that that brings in and the state of Texas' support of tech development.

      You see this sort of thing across the US (and the world) in all sorts of areas. Just look at sports, from building or upgrading stadiums and facilities to keep or attract teams (or the Olympics).

      Ultimately it's the taxpayers who pay.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Let us set a filter here

      Samsung Austin Semiconductor already employs around 10 000 people, 3000 of whom are Samsung employees, at the Austin fab. This tax waiver request (demand? extortion?) is for a new plant nearby.

      see local story here

  2. HildyJ Silver badge
    Facepalm

    This just in

    If you question the tax breaks Samsung is getting, Nevada is thinking about setting up "Innovation Zones" in which the tech companies that locate there "get to set up their own local government, complete with a three-member board of supervisors. And any local ordinances adopted by that board would supersede the rules of the county in which their Innovation Zone was placed."

    https://gizmodo.com/nevada-wants-to-let-tech-companies-form-their-own-gover-1846203520

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: This just in

      Oh gawd, Nevada are re-inventing company towns? Will employees be paid in company scrip they can either spend at the company shops or trade for real money at a shitty exchange rate? Will the company police be in charge of strike breaking?

  3. David Pearce

    Eathquakes

    Washington State is a dreadful alternative choice for a semiconductor fab. Powerful earthquakes could put a fab offline for several months

  4. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    Company-mandated tax breaks

    It's always the same thing : let us install for free and we'll bring you jobs.

    And as soon as you start thinking about enforcing taxes, we'll bugger off to some other idiot who believes the malarky.

    It should be a federally-mandated rule that companies pay taxes and pay for their installation costs. No tax breaks.

    But it's no use complaining. The whole system is broken anyway.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Company-mandated tax breaks

      More than enough people are actually happily voting to perpetuate it.

  5. Aseries

    Playing the professional sports stadium card.

    The ability for professional sports teams to extort $Biliion stadiums from State and Municipal taxpayers is not lost on corporations pedaling factories and development centers.

  6. First Light Silver badge

    As long as they don't secede . . .

    A Texas State rep is bringing in a bill to secede from the US. I hope all the tech companies pay attention. These are "interesting" times and the tiny amount of money TX puts into it public schools shows in its voter choices.

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