New Amazon Facility Confirmed for Katy; Elysian Viaduct Do-Over


Photo of Kirby Grove: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


15 Comment

  • Re: City Extends Civility Ordinance to South Post Oak
    With it already applying to the CBD, Midtown, Old Sixth Ward, Avondale, Hyde Park, East Downtown, and the near Northside, why can’t we just blanket it to the whole of the Inner Loop?
    Make it easy to remember: inside the Loop, no loitering. Generally, outside the Loop: loiter away.

  • “The Harris County Commissioners Court approved a deal that will lower Amazon’s taxes for the $136 million facility to 65 percent for 10 years.”
    “Waller County approved a 20-year, tiered tax rebate deal for Amazon, the Houston Chronicle reports. If the combined value of the facility’s property and inventory exceeds $100 million, Amazon will get at least a 50 percent refund on its county taxes. In return, Amazon has to employ at least 800 people at the facility and hold a job fair each year.”
    So what’s the alternative here if amazon wasn’t able to extract massive tax subsidies from taxpayers for these buildings? They just stumble across an empty and pre-existing 900k sq ft warehouse? They decide not to expand in Houston and lose out on MM’s if not BB’s in revenue over the years?
    We have the busiest port in the country already partially subsidized by taxpayers and yet somehow we still need to give out more subsidies to corporations so they can take further advantage of our subsidized port?

  • @Scarlet Fever: The area this article describes is outside the loop. There are panhandlers at Braeswood and the loop, along South Post Oak, 90, Chimney Rock, etc. Hillcroft and West Airport, too, but that’s outside this “South Post Oak Neighborhood”.

  • @ Memebag: Thanks. I already knew where South Post Oak is. Used to live in Westbury. I said “generally” in my outlining of the zones but I should have clarified that other neighborhoods OUTSIDE the loop could get added to the blanket Inner Loop no loitering zone.
    The panhandlers and loiterers will know ITL will be forbidden and they roll the dice when outside the Loop.

  • They are just pushing the problem otl. Have seen panhandlers in the EC. Crazy stuff.

  • How will the city/police enforce this? Don’t see how they can actually put a stop to it without putting people in jails or holding centers.

  • HEB: Drive them outside the loop?

  • @ joel: It’s a rather sad situation, but it’s totally understandable that local governments should compete for projects like these. If one place is willing to offer subsidies and they’re successful at attracting investment away from somewhere else, then there’s a powerful incentive for other places to play along. Houston & Harris County are a bit more conservative because both are so large that they’re likely to win substantial “leakage” of economic impacts regardless of where a project is located in the metro area, but certainly the surrounding jurisdictions have good reason to play ball.
    This is one area where federal intervention seems necessary. They really need to monopolize this stuff and just build subsidies (if any) into tax and trade policies.

  • ^If they catch you on the sidewalk you get tased.

  • @Joel, just remember the Republicans don’t like when the government picks winners and losers in private business. At least that what they said for years after the Solyndra deal. So, look the other way, there might be a transsexual using the ladies’ room.
    For the record, I’m against government tax subsidies of any kind for businesses. If you have a great idea, or have the capital to build something new, you should stand on your own two feet and not get a tax break others cannot have.

  • The Energy Corridor is the only part of town where I’ve actually witnessed police offers cracking down on panhandlers. They show up occasionally, but don’t seem to stick around for long.

  • Shady: I don’t want the government to pick winners or losers, but that’s not what’s happening.
    I don’t see why a local government wouldn’t offer tax incentives to attract business to their area. They’re saying “We won’t take as much as we normally would from you”. That’s not giving them money. And the flip side to not doing that is a business going somewhere else and you get $0.
    And not sure what this has to do with transsexuals but whatever.

  • Jobs for tax breaks…sounds like a socially and legally acceptable version of a bribe.
    Problem is the big businesses like Amazon who offer jobs can get better tax rates than the smaller ones….a double standard.
    And individuals have nothin comin…..

  • @JoeDirte

    It’s not bribe if the government does it to business….. only if business does it to government.

  • @ DNAGuy: Well that’s what I always tell my friends that are in developing countries with major corruption problems is that the United States only ranks well in studies because our form of corruption has been passed into law and institutionalized, and hence is technically exempted from corruption. Happens all the time, worst of all at the state and local levels. We mostly keep the bureaucrats at the middle and lower levels out of the till, though.