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  • Mindy Raymond

Gov. Abbott calls for adding $100M to Texas Enterprise Fund

The Texas Enterprise Fund should be re-upped to the tune of more than $100 million, Gov. Greg Abbott said today in a speech to the Dallas Regional Chamber.

The deal-closing fund helps attract some of the world’s largest companies such as McKesson, which is bringing 1,000 jobs to Irving, and Charles Schwab, which is bringing more than 1,000 jobs and building a new campus in Westlake in Denton and Tarrant Counties.

Other TEF-incented deals that have landed in North Texas include the headquarters relocations for Jacobs Engineering Group, Kubota Tractor and Jamba Juice, Abbott said.

“Your support of that money is essential if we are to keep Texas in the vanguard new businesses in the future,” Abbott told the crowd of Dallas business leaders.

Overall, Abbott’s office wants to grow Texas incentives funds by almost $200 million, according to a proposal submitted to the state legislature. That includes roughly $108 million for the Texas Enterprise Fund, which provides incentives for companies that relocate to the Lone Star State; $56 million for film and video game marketing; and $40 million for the Governor’s University Research Initiative, which is used to recruit university faculty.

On another topic, Abbot pointed out that if Texas were its own nation, it would have the 10th ranked economy in the world — larger than Canada, Austrailia and Russia.

“That makes me more powerful than Putin,” he quipped.

In other rankings, Texas is second in the nation in the number of Fortune 500 company headquarters, and more than 20 of those companies are in the Dallas Fort Worth area.

For 12 years in a row, CEOs have ranked Texas as the best state in which to do business, and for 15 years straight Texas has led the nation in exports. For the fifth year in a row, Texas received the Governor’s Cup for economic development. And Dallas is threatening to oust New York City as the hub for financial jobs in the United States, the governor said.

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