Austin Considering Incentives for eBay Expansion

The City of Austin, Texas is considering approving a package of state and local incentives for an expansion by eBay Inc. (NASDAQ:EBAY).


eBay (photo – Coolcaesar./wikipedia)

eBay is planning to take up a long term lease on a 66,000-square-foot office space and investing $8.4 million to renovate and equip the place.

This includes $3.33 million on construction, another $3.87 million on machinery and equipment, and $1.27 million for furnishings and fixtures.

They plan to create 400 new jobs by 2017. The 400 jobs being created will include 133 entry level jobs with average annual wages of $27,040 to $28,662, and another 267 high-paying staff jobs with average annual wages of $100,000 to $112,500.

eBay has 651 employees at their current facility in Austin, which houses customer support and client services for the company’s PayPal Data Services, Inc. and Marketplaces business units.

The Austin City Council is meeting on Thursday to conduct a public hearing and consider approving a resolution nominating eBay Inc. as a single Texas Enterprise Zone Project.

Being nominated for this designation by a county or municipality makes the project eligible for state sales and use tax refunds under the Texas Enterprise Zone Program.

Based on eBay’s plans for investment and job creation and the five year designation as a Texas Enterprise Zone Project, the company qualifies for a maximum of $1.25 million in sales and use tax refunds.

This will be the second such agreement between eBay and Austin. Back in April 2011, eBay committed to creating 1,050 new jobs in Austin by 2020 and was approved for $2.8 million in state incentives through the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF).

The City of Austin additionally approved local incentives of $250 per job created, or a total of $1,206,250 over the 10-year agreement period.

eBay cancelled this 2011 agreement earlier this year in May. The new agreement under consideration calls for eBay to create only 400 new jobs in Texas by 2017, instead of 1,050 new jobs by 2020. However, the total number of jobs they are committing to (651 existing and 400 new jobs) does add up to 1,051.

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