As a former Chairman of both the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation, Economic Development has been a cornerstone of my administration. By cultivating relationships with the City and the State, we have been able to grow steadily the number of jobs in Bexar County by attracting some of the largest names in business while providing an affordable and business friendly environment.
San Antonio has exhibited positive employment growth and remarkable stability in recent years, even as other areas of the state and country have suffered negative job growth outcomes. Total employment in San Antonio has risen steadily from below 550,000 in early 2005 to more than 600,000 by April 2011. Unemployment has remained remarkably steady, never rising above 7.4 percent during this six-year timeframe. Currently, the unemployment rate for the San Antonio Metro area is 4.7 percent, the 6th lowest in the nation.
While feeling some effects of the recession at the county level, our local economy remained one of the strongest in the nation. Throughout the economic downturn, we were able to avoid slashing services and employee positions, all while holding the tax rate steady. One way we did this was through hiring and salary freezes, acceleration our capital improvement program, and increased efficiency through investment in technology.
Bexar County has been directly involved in Economic Development projects totaling over $3.7 billion dollars in new capital investment.
- An astonishing 99.7% of these projects occurred in Precincts 1,2 and 4.
- Bexar County is abating $40 million to get $3.7 billion in capital investment while also receiving an estimated $20 million in new taxes during the term of the abatements.
- These projects created well over 13,000 new high-paying jobs.
- Precinct 1: 8,800 new jobs
- Precinct 2: 341 new jobs
- Precinct 3: 1,800 new jobs
- Precinct 4: 4,100 new jobs
Signature projects (tax abatements and other ED projects) include:
- Toyota Motor Manufacturing Texas and 21 on-site suppliers representing nearly 5,500 total jobs (Pct. 1)
- The Supplier Parks include 4 local minority-owned suppliers representing 2,000 high-paying jobs.
- Halliburton Oilfield Services 1,500 high-paying jobs (Pct. 4)
- Schlumberger 600 high-paying jobs (Pct. 1)
- Baker-Hughes 385 high-paying jobs (Pct. 4)
- Medtronic Diabetes 1,600 high-paying jobs (Pct. 3)
- Cibolo Canyons Special Improvement District (Pct. 3)
- Two TPC golf courses and JW Marriott resort hotel with the strong environmental protections
- Rackspace Hosting 1,800 high-paying jobs (Pct. 4)
- Glazers 341 high-paying jobs (Pct. 2)
Arena Venue Projects:
- $90 million (includes $15 million Spurs contribution) for AT&T Center
- $17.5 million (includes $2.4 million SALE contribution) for new Expo Hall, Horse Barn, Cattle Barn and grounds improvements
- $11.6 million (includes $1.6 million Community Arenas Board contribution) for Freeman Coliseum and related improvements.
- This represents nearly $120 million in capital invested, but only $100 million from the County
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