by Jess Fields
Texas Public Policy Foundation
January 09, 2014
Many local governments in Texas are engaged in economic development, whereby a particular business prospect is offered incentives to relocate to the governing body’s taxing jurisdiction. These incentives may take many forms, such as tax abatements or infrastructure deals. One consistent aspect of nearly all such deals, however, is the lack of transparency accompanying their deliberation. Economic development negotiations are exempt from the Open Meetings Act, which otherwise requires governing bodies to deliberate in public meetings. Local governments should consider taking proactive steps to increase the transparency and accountability of government negotiations with business prospects.

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