Monday, April 10, 2017

Merck IT No. 4 Hub Update -- From Austin: City Council Vote This Thursday...

This series -- on at least the potential for a fourth Merck IT hub in Texas, near the UT Medical campus, has garnered lots of Google-driven search traffic (according to my internal dashboards). So -- we will update on it with more frequency, now. [Just smart reporting, to do so. . . smile.]

My earlier backgrounders on it all, are here and here; and the local press story is here, Please do go read it all -- quite detailed -- but here is a bit:

. . . .The company’s application for the incentive package notes it will have 180 jobs at approximately $64,000 per year and another 360 positions at $87,000 per year.

Mayor Pro Tem Kathie Tovo said she wants to see a commitment to a set number of employees hired from Austin’s workforce.

Other Council members expressed similar concerns during the session but also appeared to see benefits of bringing a global health care giant to Austin to partner with the Dell Medical School. The next hearing and vote to approve or deny the package is scheduled for Thursday’s Council meeting. . . .

The bolded bit is critical -- if Austin taxpayers offer Merck money, it ought to be local techies that get jobs, not just more HQ IT people shipped out -- from Kenilworth, NJ. And, just as our commenter(s) suggested, Merck doesn't in any way need this incentive money, in order to move forward -- but it will certainly pocket it, if offered. [The modest amount of the incentive likely reflects the state level tax breaks a company like Merck would enjoy, inside Texas -- compared to other states. Corporate taxes, at the state level, in Texas, are very, very company favorable -- compared to other states.]

Even so, because Kenilworth is talking to several likely host cities about this new IT hub, a "race to the bottom" may yet ensue, among them -- and that would be a tough prospect, for the local citizenry: effectively "buying jobs" -- for the city. Sub-optimal indeed, for the locales.

And now, with the shortened week approaching, it turns out that I'll now likely stay put for the full week. . . we shall see. Be excellent to one another -- always.


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