Why Wall Street Is Bullish on Texas

Big tax breaks for firms at home on the range
By Heather McPherson,  Newser User
Posted Jul 28, 2007 4:11 PM CDT
The headquarters of computer giant Dell, Inc. is shown in this 2006 file photo in Round Rock, Texas. Dell said Thursday that an internal audit committee has found a number of accounting errors and evidence...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Companies with Texas offices save thousands by hosting cattle or growing crops on their property, the WSJ reports. The state’s “agricultural exemption” grants hefty property tax breaks to firms devoting at least part of their land to preserving or cultivating nature. Fidelity saved more than $318,000 by allowing 24 longhorns to graze near its offices.

Dell’s Michael Dell saved a bundle in part by spraying his property for ants, filling water stations, and maintaining birdhouses. The exemption was originally intended for full-time farmers and ranchers; now it also helps dozens of—some would say less-deserving—Wall Street players. But if they suspend their efforts, they face five years of back taxes...with interest.