Local NewsTaxes & SpendingSamsung Eyes Taylor for $17 Billion Microchip Plant, Local Texas Governments Line Up Incentives for the Project

The City of Taylor and Williamson County announced their support for the project at a joint meeting on Wednesday.
September 9, 2021
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A multi-billion-dollar microchip manufacturing plant is inching closer to construction in Taylor after Samsung seems to have chosen the Central Texas site for its U.S. production plans and the city and county governments gave it the green light Wednesday night.

The South Korean publication Korea JoongAng Daily reported earlier this week that Samsung had settled on Taylor for the site of its plant. But Samsung denied it has chosen the final location for its plant in a statement to KVUE earlier this week.

In return, Samsung will receive a currently indeterminate total in property tax abatements combined from the City of Taylor, Williamson County, and Taylor ISD. The preliminary agreements from the city and county are performance-based and Williamson County’s would yield a 90 percent reimbursement in property taxes paid through the agreement’s first decade.

On the table for Samsung are property tax cuts or abatements through Chapters 311, 312, 313, and 381 of the state’s tax code. Those sections of the code are frequently used by political subdivisions to attract business into their districts.

“If Williamson County is selected, this will be the largest economic development project ever in the State of Texas and the largest economic development project with foreign investment in the United States,” said county Judge Bill Gravell.

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To receive the county’s full abatement, Samsung must construct at least 6 million square feet of its facility by the end of January 2026.

Asked for comment on Tuesday, the City of Taylor declined to share any specifics of its proposal but provided the following comment from Mayor Brandt Rydell: “The City of Taylor is honored to be considered for this critical project and, if selected, we look forward to a long-term relationship benefiting the company and our community for generations to come.”

The joint agenda packet can be viewed here.

The news comes after a year and a half of semiconductor microchip shortages largely caused by the pandemic’s constraints on the global supply chain. Used often in vehicles and other electronic devices, the shortage is stressing the ability for electronic supply to meet the revamped demand.

And the geopolitical importance surrounding the manufacturing location of such important items adds its own twist to what would be a very lucrative operation in Central Texas.

Samsung’s planned facility will break ground next year and be operational by 2024, according to documents with the Texas Comptroller’s Office.

The company expects to create 1,800 permanent jobs at the facility once operational.

Back in June, Taylor ISD approved its $670 million reduction in the taxable value for the first year of the abatement’s 10-year term. That agreement, part of the state’s Chapter 313 program, applies only to the school district’s share of the property tax catalog.

The Texas legislature chose not to renew Chapter 313 in the tax code during the recent regular session that concluded at the end of May — the program is currently set to expire at the end of 2022 but is effective until then.

Texas has long been an attractive destination for businesses looking to either relocate or build new operations due to the business-friendly nature of its tax code and local governments’ willingness to issue abatements on the most heavy-handed aspect of the tax code: property taxes.

Officially, Samsung has narrowed its decision to four locations: Taylor, Austin, Phoenix, or Batavia, New York.

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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

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