Recent Advocacy Initiatives
The Greater Waco Chamber’s public policy initiatives include establishing positions on issues that impact our members and the overall community and economic development of the area; educating elected and appointed officials about these issues; actively educating the membership and the community on possible policy impact; and encouraging membership involvement in the Chamber’s advocacy efforts and programs.
The Chamber’s has several recent advocacy initiatives that garnered support – and are still ongoing – from the overall business community and membership. Below is a brief summary of each recent initiative.
Since its inception, Waco has received three Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) awards, totaling more than $1.5 million in grants, spurring 1,515 new direct jobs and more than $110 million in new capital investment for our community. Those dollars are added to our tax rolls and help support and enhance our community.
Since 2004, the TEF has helped bring over 81,000 new jobs and almost $27 billion in new capital investment to our great state. Just weeks ago, a TEF incentive helped Texas close the deal, beating out competing states in attracting Hulu’s new service center, which will immediately create 100 new jobs, 300 by the end of this year, and 500 total by the end of 2018.
The House budget – which is now being reconciled by House and Senate Conferees – eliminated funding for the Texas Enterprise Fund. The Texas Enterprise Fund has been a critical tool for the growth of jobs and wealth in our state. To eliminate this program sends a message that Texas may no longer be as “business-friendly” as we once were.
Your chamber’s economic development team needs all the tools available to attract and support development of new industry and growth. Join us in sending a message to the budget writers that Texans support the Texas Enterprise Fund, and thank them in advance for their commitment to keeping Texas open for business. CLICK HERE TO TAKE ACTION.
In August 2016, the Greater Waco Chamber encouraged the business community to express support for the preferred Central Section alternative routes C2B, C4A and C4B and the selection of Waco as a station location for high speed rail. The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) had released a Tier 1 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and requested input on the study. A letter campaign was initiated to show support of the recommendations of the study and that Waco supports high-speed rail and our connectivity as a stop on any future line.
Letters included information on how Waco’s connectivity to any passenger rail line is vitally important to the economic growth of Central Texas, at the heart of the Texas Triangle; how high-speed rail has the potential to bring significant economic stimulus as it supports the growing Texas economy; and how the population explosion of Texas warrants investment now in a robust multi-modal transportation infrastructure system to support our state’s demographic and economic growth.
Texans voted on a proposed constitutional amendment on Nov. 4, 2014 that would provide billions more in reliable transportation funding – an estimated $1.7 billion in the first year – without new taxes, fees or debt. The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted in favor of Proposition 1 and encouraged support of this important measure.
Texans voted on seven proposed constitutional amendments on Nov. 3, 2015. The Greater Waco Chamber of Commerce board of directors voted in favor of Proposition 7 and encouraged support of this important measure. Click here to download a flyer that provides a brief overview of Proposition 7.
Tax Ratification Election (Passed)
Waco ISD called a Tax Ratification Election (TRE) for Nov. 3, 2015, asking voters to approve a net increase of 5 cents in the District’s tax rate. The Greater Waco Chamber board of directors voted in support of the TRE. For more information about the TRE, click here for a Fact Sheet.