TAB News Briefs
September 24, 2009

Texas Slips in Business Tax Index
The Austin Business Journal
Though still regarded as a pro-business state, Texas has slipped slightly in the annual business tax climate rankings researched by the Tax Foundation. The nonprofit organization released its 2010 rankings recently, with Texas slipping from No. 9 to No. 11 in the 2009 rankings. The rankings include a composite of five index measurements, including corporate tax, individual income tax, sales tax, unemployment tax and property tax.More

Stimulus Funds Are Boosting Construction Work
Business Week
About $131 billion of the $787 billion in stimulus money that Congress approved is going toward infrastructure. Some states, including Texas and California, have jumped on the funding opportunities faster than others.More

New Jobless Claims Drop Unexpectedly
The Associated Press via The Dallas Morning News
The number of newly laid-off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell for the third straight week, evidence that layoffs are continuing to ease in the earliest stages of an economic recovery. The Labor Department said that initial claims for unemployment insurance dropped to a seasonally adjusted 530,000 from an upwardly revised 551,000 the previous week. Wall Street economists expected claims to rise by 5,000.More

Deal for Racetrack May Spur Casinos
The San Antonio Express News
American Indian gambling might be about to gain a major legal toehold in Texas. The state over the past decade has been successful in closing casinos run by the Tiguas of El Paso and the Alabama-Coushattas of Livingston. And gambling at a tiny casino run by the Kickapoo Traditional Tribe near Eagle Pass has been limited. But the Chickasaw Nation of Oklahoma is poised to take possession of a horse racetrack in Grand Prairie.More

Coldwell Banker: Dallas Homes for Corporate Transfers Highest in Texas
The Dallas Morning News
Corporate transferees will have to dig a little deeper to pay for digs in Big D. At least that’s what Coldwell Banker Real Estate says in its annual home price comparison index, which tracks the cost of homes in more than 310 U.S. markets in areas that would appeal to "typical corporate middle-management transferees." More

Perry Says He's Got Pickens' Vote
The Dallas Morning News
Gov. Rick Perry announced Tuesday that he's won the endorsement of Dallas energy executive T. Boone Pickens, and Perry declared himself an ally in the billionaire's effort to promote wind energy and natural gas as a way of weaning the nation from foreign oil.More

Austin Area Foreclosures Jump
The Austin American Statesman's Real Deal Blog
Central Texas foreclosure postings for the Oct. 6 auction hit their highest level since early in this decade. Foreclosure Listing Service Inc. said 1,481 properties were posted, 72 percent higher than for the October 2008 auction.More

Perry Pushes State Based Health Reform
The Dallas Business Journal
Gov. Rick Perry has sent a letter to Sen. Max Baucus, who chairs the Senate Finance Committee, expressing his concerns about the government-run health care bills now under consideration in the U.S. Senate. The finance committee is reviewing Baucus' proposed bill this week.More

To Unseat Perry, Hutchison Campaigns on Two Fronts
The Houston Chronicle
U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison is harnessing the powers of incumbency on Capitol Hill to wage a demanding, two-front campaign in the nation's capital and Texas to unseat Gov. Rick Perry. The Dallas Republican is using her Senate post to showcase conservative positions on high-profile state and national issues to galvanize support for the GOP gubernatorial primary in March.More

Democratic Dustup in Governor's Race
The Austin American Statesman's First Reading Blog
Gubernatorial candidate Hank Gilbert brought his announcement tour to Austin . Gilbert referred a couple of times to Ted Schieffer, although by all indications he meant Tom Schieffer, who is also seeking the party's nomination. And he accused Schieffer of copy-catting his ideas, specifically his focus on early-childhood education and high school dropouts — two novel issues indeed. More

If Hurricane Season Tradition Holds, We're in the Clear
The Houston Chronicle
Houston residents hardly could forget about the tropics one year ago, when many remained without power thanks to Hurricane Ike. This summer, the tropics have stayed far from our minds because they've been so quiet this season, by every measure.More