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State Audit Uncovers Problems With Texas Enterprise Fund

Office of the Governor of Texas

The Texas Enterprise Fund, Governor Rick Perry says it’s a deal closer. With a half billion dollars at his disposal Perry uses it as big pot of money that he can use to bring companies to Texas. Toyota was awarded $40 million to uproot its U.S. headquarters from California to suburban Dallas. SpaceX got $15 million to build the space port in Brownsville. Perry says the fund has been instrumental in helping build Texas' booming economy.

Recipients of Texas Enterprise Fund awards reported that they had created 48,317 direct jobs as of December 31, 2012. However, as a result of the control weaknesses identified during this audit, it was not always possible to determine whether award decisions were supported, or to determine the number of jobs that recipients of awards from the Texas Enterprise Fund have created. - State Auditors' Report

But a state audit released this week of the fund tells a different story. It shows that there were few if any controls on the fund, over $220 million in tax payer dollars were doled out to private companies without oversight or requirements for actual job creation. Ryan Poppe is Texas Public Radio’s capital correspondent and is covering the story.

One requirement the Office established for receiving a Texas Enterprise Fund award is that a recipient's proposed Texas site must be in competition with another viable out-of-state option. However, auditors were unable to verify applicants' assertions regarding competition outside of Texas because sufficient information to perform that verification was not usually available.  - State Auditors' Report

Here’s a link to the State Auditor’s report:


David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi