Divided Austin City Council backs Merck incentives deal


The Austin City Council voted 7-3 Thursday to approve an incentives package potentially worth up to $856,000 to pharmaceutical giant Merck Sharp & Dohme Corp., which is promising to bring at least 600 new jobs to the city.

The agreement, Austin’s first major corporate incentives grant since 2014, would pay $200 a year for each full-time job that Merck creates and retains under the 10-year contract. The jobs would pay an average salary of $84,586 annually.

The approval came after less than an hour of debate Thursday, with Council Members Delia Garza, Greg Casar and Ellen Troxclair casting the “no” votes. Council Member Leslie Pool was absent.

“I realize there’s never a perfect package that we vote on here,” Garza said. “My biggest concern is the type of jobs this company is bringing.” She said her priority is “jobs that help our low and middle income families, and I don’t see this in this package.”

Read the full story about the incentives and what Merck plans to bring to its Austin operations.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Business

4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow
4 of the best ways to turn your home into a cash cow

Your house is a large expense with many associated costs like a mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance and more. It provides a roof over your head, of course, but since it usually costs you money each month, why not put it to work for you and earn some cash in the process? The following are four ways your house can make you money: If you're planning...
Austin-based jeweler Kendra Scott set for overseas debut
Austin-based jeweler Kendra Scott set for overseas debut

Austin-based Kendra Scott LLC is heading overseas. The company, which produces and sells jewelry popular with a wide swath of Americans including a number of A-list celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Taylor Swift, will open its first location outside the U.S. on Monday in London. The “shop-in-shop” will be inside Selfridges, a high-end department...
As Austin nursing shortage grows, traveling nurses help fill gap
As Austin nursing shortage grows, traveling nurses help fill gap

It took months for Ashley Senatus to find her first nursing job, and she loved the colleagues and managers with whom she worked over the next three-plus years. She just couldn’t ignore her curiosity and sense of adventure. So rather than settle into a nursing career in her hometown Miami, she signed on with Cross Country Staffing, one of the...
6 things to know about working for Uber
6 things to know about working for Uber

Uber has been making headlines in recent months for everything from a new CEO to industry regulation. But if you want to work as a driver for the service that revolutionized the taxi-transport industry, there is more important information about Uber you'll want to check out. Here are six things you need to know about Uber before working for them...
Austin jobless rate at 2.6% as employers add jobs, labor force shrinks
Austin jobless rate at 2.6% as employers add jobs, labor force shrinks

A surge in local job creation and an unusual contraction in the labor force combined to help send the Austin-area unemployment rate to its lowest point in almost 17 years. The metro-area jobless rate dropped to 2.6 percent in October, down from 2.9 percent the prior month and to its lowest point since it hit 2.3 percent in December 2000, according...
More Stories