GRAPHICS: 2019 PCDC budget approved

5

The Pflugerville Community Development Corporation expects to see a 9 percent gain in sales tax revenue in the upcoming year, according to its approved fiscal year 2019 budget.

Pflugerville City Council Tuesday night approved the drafted fiscal year 2019 PCDC budget which included first year revenue additions as well as new expenses.

PCDC will collect lease payments from Typhoon Texas for its land for the first time in FY 2019. The first annual payment from Typhoon Texas totals $1.12 million after a $25,000 marketing grant was subtracted from the initial lease payment.

Along with an expected nine percent jump in sales tax revenue, the 2019 PCDC budget outlines a nine percent increase in total expenses.

COMMUNITY PROJECTS

The largest jump occurs in community projects outlined by PCDC. PCDC budgets $659,700 in community projects spending in its 2019 budget, an increase of $469,700 from the year prior. That represents a 247 percent increase in year-over-year spending in community projects expenses.

Two expenses account for $483,000 of the community projects budget. PCDC has earmarked $110,000 for sidewalk and infrastructure improvements near Typhoon Texas along FM 685 and $373,000 for infrastructure improvements at the 130 Commerce Park off Pecan Street.

PCDC will additionally contribute a combined $180,000 for park and trail improvements in Pflugerville.

OTHER EXPENSES

The FY 2019 PCDC budget outlines a 17 percent jump in recruitment marketing costs. That budget includes costs for travel, site visits, website and social media, public relations and more activities the PCDC believes helps to recruit businesses to Pflugerville.

PCDC will increase its personnel budget by five percent in FY 2019 through the addition of an intern. The personnel budget additionally outlines “full year funding” for staff salaries plus 3 percent merit increases for the PCDC executive director, business development director, business recruitment director, executive assistant and marketing and communications manager.

PERFORMANCE

According to PCDC budget documents, the corporation projects to come in $438,547.24 under budget by the end of FY 2018, about one-third of which was shaved off in recruitment and retention costs.

The economic development corporation Tuesday night additionally officially sold PCDC land in the One Thirty Business Park off Sunlight Near Way to a regional industrial developer. The sale of that property will bring in approximately $2.38 million to the PCDC budget—revenue that is not explicitly outlined in the approved FY 2019 budget.

That development will bring seven separate buildings for mixed-use industrial purposes and that space is essentially to recruiting new businesses to Pflugerville, according to PCDC Executive Director Amy Madison.

“Our biggest issue right now is we have little to no vacancy,” Madison told Pflugerville City Council members Tuesday night. “Our focus this year by the board has been trying to attract developers.”

Madison added PCDC is working to add 80,000 square feet of space for potential industrial tenants.

PCDC contributed $1.5 million to help bring the recently-opened Costco to Pflugerville and helped recruit Flooring Spaces Southwest, which is expected to open its facility before the end of the year. The $20 million, 187,000-square-foot Flooring Spaces development will bring 160 employees by the time it opens and will add 40 additional jobs in five years.

Share this story
5 comments
COMMENT
  1. Disturbed Pf Taxpayer

    PCDC contributed $1.5 million to bring Costco to Pville? That’s more than $25 per resident! For all practical purposes, that store is not even open to the general public, they want a $60 annual membership fee just to shop there. Why are we charging buyers an extra sales tax to support a massive and highly profitable private business like this? If a business can’t stand on it’s own two feet, it doesn’t belong in Pville.

    Does anybody really think that Costco wouldn’t have built their store here if it weren’t for all the taxpayer support? The story I heard is that their grand opening far exceeded their expectations.

    And why are we paying “recruitment marketing costs” to bring new businesses to Pville when we don’t have enough vacant commercial real estate, or enough employees to staff the current available job openings?

    And what is the REAL story with this water park? “PCDC will collect lease payments from Typhoon Texas for its land for the first time in FY 2019.” That water park has been operating for several years now. For how long have taxpayers been paying the lease on that place? This sounds like another case of corporate welfare. If PCDC was run like a business, this organization would have gone bankrupt years ago. Why is there such poor accountability to the taxpayers?

    It’s time for City Council to dissolve PCDC, and give the money back to the taxpayers.

  2. Pflugerville Business Owner

    The government cannot tax the town’s way to prosperity like this. The activities of PCDC are actually hurting my business. Recruiting more businesses to town will only put further strain on the local workforce, and raise employment costs. For example, I heard Costco is so desperate for employees that they are starting them out at $14/hour. The ALDI store is now starting at $13.10 per hour. When will this madness stop? The Texas minimum wage is $7.25/hour, almost half of what Costco is having to pay for workers.

    Another good question is related to the quality of businesses that PCDC recruits. It seems like they aim for mostly blue collar jobs, and justify that by saying the new businesses will add to the tax rolls. How about some well paying WHITE COLLAR jobs for this town, so professionals don’t have to drive to Austin every day?

    Another way PCDC hurts my business is that I have to collect an extra half cent sales tax on their behalf. That may not sound like much, but it adds up. Higher prices mean lower sales. And what do I get for that tax money that I collect for PCDC? Now I read here that PCDC is using some of that money to pay the marketing expenses of Typhoon Texas? How do I get in line for handouts like that?

    I think PCDC needs a new mission in life. Seriously.

  3. PCDC is a an old relic leftover from the days of the recession, when the city was trying to recover. I would love to see an independently audited P&L statement for PCDC covering all those years, showing us how much tax money PCDC has spent since their inception, and how much benefit we have received in return. Clearly we have received some nebulous benefits from PCDC, such as helping Community Impact get started. I do however suspect that most of our tax money collected by PCDC over the years has been wasted. We all know what a disastrous deal that high-profile water park has been, but there have been many other failed deals as well. PCDC says they have learned from their past mistakes. However, their continued practice of making bad deals, such as this latest Costco giveaway, clearly proves otherwise. This old crippled PCDC dog should have been put to sleep years ago.

  4. Local economic development corporations are not the only ones to leave behind a long trail of bad deals and broken promises from greedy corporations. The State of Texas withdrew or clawed back more than $30 million in incentives to 16 companies that failed to create the jobs pledged, according to a 2017 legislative report. Another problem with some of these rogue EDCs is that they are more focused on the potential benefits of increased taxes (that new businesses bring to town), and less regarding the non-economic factors – such as new traffic congestion, and all the other growing pains communities experience with new development. More accountability to the taxpayers is definitely needed, especially at the local level. How much taxpayer money has our own PCDC spent over the years, and what exactly did we get for all that money? Nobody in government seems to be volunteering the information. Are the results too nebulous to quantify? If overall we were getting good value for our money, I am sure they would be bragging about their accomplishments. The chart in this article does a good job showing us how PCDC spends our tax money, but it does nothing to show the overall return on investment for PCDC’s business dealings. How can we let any publicly funded corporation continue to take our tax money with no idea as to their overall return on investment? Blame it on the voters who vote for the public officials who allow this continuous nonsense.

Leave A Reply

Iain Oldman
Iain Oldman joined Community Impact Newspaper in 2017 after spending two years in Pittsburgh, Pa., where he covered Pittsburgh City Council. His byline has appeared in PublicSource, WESA-FM and Scranton-Times Tribune. Iain worked as the reporter for Community Impact Newspaper's flagship Round Rock/Pflugerville/Hutto edition and is now working as the reporter for Northwest Austin.
Back to top