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Ennis Daily News

Abatement awards help jobs expand

It might seem strange to grant industries large tax breaks when times are tough.
It’s been an Ennis strategy for years to use those breaks as a way to both lure new industry and ensure existing industries dig in and become more entrenched in our community.

Offering abatements to industries as a way to make them locate or help in their efforts to expand on their existing operations is a tried and true method for achieving success. We’ve seen it before here, and city management is certain we’ll see them again. Plans hinted at a few weeks ago include a very large industrial prospect eyeing our area — city management won’t go into too many details for fear of losing the project before it ever comes here — and a record-setting abatement is almost certainly on the table.

The most recent, the abatement awarded to Ennis-based Polyguard Products, Inc., represents the 50th such break awarded to industries in the area. Even though the recession has brought some losses to our area, we have the strong backbone of well-paying jobs afforded by the wealth of industries in Ennis as one the reasons we have not been hit nearly as hard as some other communities even in our own county. There have not been nearly the number of closed storefronts or layoffs here as in areas just down U.S. 287.

Certainly, offering large breaks to companies may mean we get less tax money for city operation on the front end. In the long run, however, the jobs created by expansion and relocation projects, as well as the taxable values that are added to the city’s tax rolls once abatements roll off, are well worth the wait.

We’ve said it before and we’ll continue to say it — using planned recruitment and retention techniques to strengthen area industry is a smart way to plan through an economic downturn. We’d love to see more effort in recruitment and retention of other commercial interests, such as retail and shopping opportunities that would keep more of our residents in Ennis, but we cannot downplay the importance of the work the city has focused on in recent years.

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Posted by on Nov 17 2009. Filed under News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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