Business Expansion Amendment

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Business Expansion Amendment

Postby Greg Casar » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:20 pm

Colleagues,

I’m providing a revised amendment for the Business Expansion Program item for Thursday’s agenda. After our work session discussion with staff, I’ve reduced the number of amendments from the 5 I handed out this morning to the 3 below:

• Incentives should be targeted, and additional incentives should be considered, for businesses and employers in lower-wage sectors who choose to pay their employees above the City living wage. Incentives should be targeted, and extra incentives should be considered, for businesses and employers that are cooperatively owned or managed, or who have democratic forms of representation for their workforce, or who build their projects using workers that have democratic forms of representation in the workplace.
• The City living wage must be paid to the Austin-based employees of the business receiving incentives, and there will be no waiver or exception process for this wage requirement. [To clarify: this amendment is in addition to the staff recommendation to provide incentives to firms that pay their workers above the market rate for the MSA.]
• For economic incentives provided to higher-wage firms, economic incentives shall only be granted to those firms for providing other community benefits other than high wage jobs. Such community benefits could include, but would not be limited to, achieving the goal of the Workforce Master Plan: bringing Austinites up from below 200% of the federal poverty line into jobs that lift them above that standard.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Best,

Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Greg Casar
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:20 pm

Re: Business Expansion Amendment

Postby Alison Alter » Wed Aug 08, 2018 10:49 am

CM Casar, thank you for posting these in advance of Thursday. I would welcome the following clarifications.

1. Where exactly in item 14 do you anticipate including each of these amendments? A redline or page number and section indications would be very helpful.
2. How do you define “higher-wage firms”?
3. Please provide a fuller list of the “community benefits” you have in mind.
4. Do you intend for these amendments to apply to all 3 categories of the business expansion program?
5. I am interpreting what you say to mean - You still get credit for the higher wage jobs, but you would have to come to the table with additional community benefits to receive an incentive. Is this interpretation correct? If that is not the case then I am concerned that the payment structure based on per-job would not apply. Can you please clarify how the per-job payments would work with your amendments in place?

Thank you for your work and I look forward to continuing the conversation.

Regards,
Alison Alter
Council Member, District 10
Alison Alter
 
Posts: 48
Joined: Fri Jan 13, 2017 4:52 pm

Re: Business Expansion Amendment

Postby Greg Casar » Wed Aug 08, 2018 12:22 pm

Council Member Alter,

We’ve sent this language to Law so it can be placed correctly and affect the entire document in Item 14. I intend for these amendments to apply to all 3 categories of the business expansion program. I am open to leaving the interpretation of higher-wage jobs up to the City Manager, however if the City Council wanted to define it ourselves, I would recommend as a starting point that the definition be jobs that pay more than twice the City’s living wage ($30/hr). I do not intend for firms to get credit for higher wage jobs. I believe a per-job payment structure should not apply to high-wage jobs without another community benefit. Instead, higher-wage firms should help us achieve the goals of our Workforce Master Plan, or provide other social goods/community benefits that the Council has asked related to workforce/business expansion, such as our workforce goals in Strategic Direction 2023.

Thank you,

Greg
Gregorio "Greg" Casar
Council Member District 4
Greg Casar
 
Posts: 58
Joined: Tue Jan 20, 2015 4:20 pm


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