Texas City Tax Incentives for Safety an 'Unprecedented Effort'

A little over a year after explosions and fire rocked BP's refinery in Texas City, Texas claiming the lives of 15 workers the city of Texas City is offering tax incentives to entice local industrial facilities to become certified in OSHA's Voluntary Protection Program (VPP).

"We applaud Texas City's leaders for this proactive and unprecedented effort that promotes not only a safer industrial district, but a safer community," said R. Davis Lane, executive director of the VPP Participants Association. "VPP can significantly improve a facility's safety performance."

Texas City officials outlined and approved the plan at their June 7 City Commission meeting.

The language in the tax code provision states that if an industrial entity has achieved OSHA VPP certification, the facility's owner is entitled to a 20 percent tax abatement each year for 5 years (from the second year after it receives certification through the seventh year), provided the owner maintains VPP designation.

The Valero refinery is the only industrial plant in Texas City to carry the VPP certification as of yet.

"The Voluntary Protection Program is a great way for the city to have a measurable standard for our abatement program," said Texas City Mayor Matthew Doyle. "VPP also provides that management and labor work together to achieve a common goal. The money that we allow in the tax abatements will be a small price to pay for a safer community."

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