$17B Samsung plant officially coming to Taylor, Texas

Texas

AUSTIN (KXAN) — On Tuesday evening, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott confirmed the much-reported $17 billion Samsung Electronics Co. chipmaking plant will be coming to Taylor in Williamson County.

“The impact of this will be felt not only here in Texas, but will actually impact the entire world,” Abbott said Tuesday from the governor’s mansion in downtown Austin. “After a thorough and comprehensive search, Samsung has chosen Taylor, Texas, as the site of its new state-of-the-art semiconductor chip fabrication plant.”

According to Abbott, the facility will create over 2,000 tech jobs, thousands of indirect jobs, and a minimum of 6,500 construction jobs.

Construction is expected to begin early next year with the target of beginning production in the second half of 2024.

“As we add a new facility in Taylor, Samsung is laying the groundwork for another important chapter in our future,” said Dr. Kinam Kim, Vice Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics Device Solutions Division. “With greater manufacturing capacity, we will be able to better serve the needs of our customers and contribute to the stability of the global semiconductor supply chain. We are also proud to be bringing more jobs and supporting the training and talent development for local communities, as Samsung celebrates 25 years of semiconductor manufacturing in the United States.”

In Samsung’s announcement, Kim also thanked the Biden administration for “federal incentives for domestic chip production and innovation.”

Taylor is located about one hour from Austin.

Reaction

Taylor Mayor Brandt Rydell

“Samsung’s decision to locate its cutting-edge semiconductor fabrication plant in Taylor is the single most significant and consequential development for the local economy since the International & Great Northern Railroad laid tracks here in the 1870s. The City of Taylor is honored to have been selected by Samsung as the site for this critically important project, and we look forward to a long-lasting and mutually-beneficial relationship between our community and the company.”

Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell

“Williamson County has again proven to be a leader in attracting the world’s top technology companies. To Samsung, I want to say ‘Welcome Home.’ We want to thank Governor Abbott for his amazing leadership and help on this project. With the addition of Samsung on the east side of our county, Apple on the west side and Dell Technologies world headquarters in the center, Williamson County is now home to the technology superhighway of the world,”

The City of Austin/Austin City Manager Spencer Cronk

“We are proud to say that Austin is still home to Samsung and that the products made here remain in high demand. Our 25-year history with Samsung is a valued relationship and one that is not ending. The announcement of Samsung’s investment is about an additional expansion and not about relocating their Austin facility. This expansion in our region will add more jobs for Austinites, create new contract opportunities for local businesses, and spur additional business growth in Austin. We look forward to a continued relationship with Samsung, including the opportunity for future expansions of the Austin facility.”

Jason Ball, President/CEO Round Rock Chamber of Commerce

“Well, I think for the city of Round Rock and all of central Texas, it’s going to be an early Christmas for everyone. This is going to bring more jobs. More economic opportunity to the entire area.”

Ball went further in-depth with KXAN about whether he has concerns about the area growing too quickly as a result of its business boon. You can watch the full interview below.

Tax incentives

Samsung joins a long list of other large companies — most recently Tesla and Texas Instruments — planting multi-billion-dollar roots in the Lone Star State. Abbott says many choose Texas based on its business-friendly incentives.

One key motivator for such businesses is the Texas Economic Development Act, more commonly known as Chapter 313, one of the nation’s biggest economic incentive programs. It allows certain companies to enjoy massive breaks on property taxes. Those companies in turn pay direct fees to local school districts to offset their share of lost property tax revenue.

Samsung is estimated to save $250 million in taxes over the next 15 years in its project from Chapter 313.

But state lawmakers did not renew the program during the legislative session. It’s set to expire on Dec. 31, 2022, which means Abbott would have to call another special legislative session to get that accomplished.

Glenn Hammer, president of the Texas Association of Business, acknowledges there are many other factors bringing large companies to Texas.

“We have no income tax, we have a light regulatory touch. We have a phenomenal, diverse workforce, we have a great education system, we have a growing infrastructure in terms of a transportation system. We have the best barbecue in the world,” Hammer said with a chuckle. “There’s a lot of great reasons companies are coming here. And 313 is a factor for high capital-intensive projects. And in some form, it’s very important that it continues. But I just wanted to point out it’s one factor.”

But Hammer said it would have a negative affect on potential deals if it expires.

“I expect it to be renewed in some form. And it would be a big problem for big capital projects if it were not renewed. And the reason why as well, Texas is super competitive in so many areas for business property taxes for high capital investments, those taxes would be higher than a number of other competing states, if we didn’t have a tool like this.”

He estimates Chapter 313 has brought in roughly $250 billion in economic activity to Texas since it was enacted in 2001.

Abbott said Tuesday he doesn’t plan to call a fourth special session yet, reminding Texans he can do so at any point. Stakeholders like Hammer expect Chapter 313 would get extended if it is brought up in another session.

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