On Oct. 5, Travis County commissioners voted to direct staff to present Samsung with a preliminary term sheet for a potential performance-based tax incentives agreement for the project, dubbed Project Silicon Silver in documents posted earlier in 2021. The vote came following a discussion in executive session and was the first public move by commissioners to progress negotiations with Samsung since July, when the county announced it had received an application for Chapter 28 economic development incentives from the company.
This vote represents the first public movement on talks between the county and Samsung since Williamson County and the city of Taylor unanimously approved an economic agreement with Samsung, pending the company's approval.
Hector Nieto, Travis County public information officer, said Travis County and Samsung are not yet at the stage of releasing a draft of an economic incentives agreement, which the county must post publicly, per its own Chapter 28 economic development incentives policy.
"This is kind of the first 'here are things we'd like to see in an agreement,'" Nieto told Community Impact Newspaper. "We're at the level of, 'Here are the things we'd like to see, and tell us if this is something you're amenable to so that way we can put up a first draft.'"
Samsung, which has an existing semiconductor facility in North Austin, is considering several other locations for its new facility, including Taylor in Williamson County. The company's negotiations with Williamson County, Taylor and Taylor ISD have progressed further; city and county officials agreed at a Sept. 8 joint meeting to approve proposed development incentives for Samsung, setting ad valorem tax rate caps on the valuation of nearly 1,200 acres in Taylor.
According to documents related to Samsung's negotiations with Williamson County, the South Korean manufacturing company is planning a 6 million-square-foot facility with 1,800 associated higher-paying jobs. Williamson County Judge Bill Gravell said at the Sept. 8 meeting that the deal would bring his county an additional $135 million in property tax dollars over the next 30 years.
Samsung has not announced an official decision on where it will locate its new facility.