San Angelo's City Council rubber stamped the Development Corporation's recommendation of $583,814 in tax rebates for OE Renewables Texas LLC over an eight year period. Neither body raised a question as to how OE Renewable's one primary job, characterized by the company as "mostly unmanned", qualified the company for this amount of public support.
All companies receiving the abatements must meet the minimum job creation level of 5 new jobs and no less than $250,000 in new valuation in either real estate and/or personal property. Please note that tax abatements and rebates may exceed the percentages shown but must be considered on a case by case basis.Neither asked how power generation qualified for tax rebates as it is not on the list of eligible areas.
Businesses eligible for the tax abatements are manufacturing, warehousing/distribution centers, home/regional administrative offices, data processing centers, and telecommunications services.Neither Council or COSADC's board asked how this deal would become a bonanza for the City of San Angelo after the first five years, as stated by Mayor Morrison in May of this year.
I imagine the rapidly declining cost of fossil fuels jeopardizes this project, even with significant federal tax credits. Did OE Renewables threaten to pull the solar farm completely without public subsidies from the City and Tom Green County?
City Councilman Johnny Silvas had the misfortune of presiding over this vote, just as he did with MedHab's $3.6 million economic development incentive package on behalf of Mayor Alvin New. We will see if this project comes to fruition like the long awaited MedHab production facility.
Time will also tell if the city receives a penny of tax revenue from OE Renewables Texas LLC, especially as this developer plans to sell the project as an investment revenue stream. The time to rubber stamp the $583,814 public subsidy began last Wednesday at COSADC and culminated today at City Council. The public deserved some discussion, some exploration as to how this truly benefits the city. The benefit to OE Renewables Texas LLC is clear.