Tuesday, April 09, 2019

Montgomery County on sidelines again as Indian software firm Zoho chooses Texas

Indian software firm Zoho has completed a nationwide search for the location of its new U.S. headquarters, and the winner is Austin, Texas, not Montgomery County. As is the case more often than not, there's no public indication that Montgomery even made any effort to recruit the company, much less mount a competitive bid. Zoho currently has a small customer service office in Austin with 60 employees, but when they relocate their current California U.S. HQ to Texas, they will ultimately host 500 jobs in a new, 100,000 SF office building, the Austin American-Statesman reported early this morning.
New interchange TXDOT
is building by the future site
of the Zoho HQ, one of
four to eliminate signaled
intersections and reduce congestion
Best of all, Austin didn't even have to put together an expensive package of giveaways to win the HQ. Zoho cited its employees' growing frustration with traffic congestion and expensive housing costs in California in its choice of Austin as an improvement. In researching the site of their new Austin HQ, I noticed they chose land on SH 71, which the Texas Department of Transportation says "serves as a major corridor for motorists traveling to and from the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport." While Montgomery County's elected officials are actively fighting any attempt to increase highway capacity here, TXDOT has a whopping four projects to reduce congestion on SH 71 alone.
Google Maps shows how close the
Zoho HQ site will be to
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport,
a quick 7-minute drive
How important are highway access and infrastructure to economic development? They are critical. According to Google Maps, the site chosen by Zoho at SH 71 and Kellam Road is only 7 minutes from Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. The need for easy airport access for an international firm like Zoho could not be provided in Montgomery County, thanks to the County Council blocking construction of the planned new Potomac River crossing to Dulles Airport. Heckuva job, Brownie!

A quick search finds flights from Austin-Bergstrom to a whopping 40 cities in India, including New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad. Imagine how significant that 7-minute access is for this India-based company, and its executives and sales team.

The Texas newspaper also reported that analysts see the Zoho decision as having benefits beyond the 500 jobs - and collateral economic activity and revenue - the HQ will generate. Because Zoho is an Indian firm and has offices around the world, Austin economist Angelos Angelou told the paper, “it could lead to the attraction of additional companies because now in the eyes of other Indian companies, Austin will be on their radar screen.” Who are some of Zoho's customers? Amazon, Uber, Facebook and Netflix.

While Austin celebrates another economic development victory, Montgomery County has only received more bad news on that front this week. Not only did County officials tell our super-low-energy County Council that MoCo's failing taxpayer-subsidized business incubators are hemorrhaging $1 million a year, but the short-lived CEO of the County's economic development company announced Monday he is quitting...to move to Texas. Smart man, obviously. "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." You can't make this stuff up, folks.

With the "new" County Council having taken no action on highway congestion or the economic development crisis in Montgomery County after over four months in office, and their plan to hike both County employees' salaries and your property taxes bigly, could Democrat David Blair be looking at a 2022 encore run for County Executive? He lost the 2018 Democratic primary by only 77 votes, and the only other local pol not-so quietly planning to run is failed Councilman Hans Riemer, Riemer is not only literally the least-popular Council member in Montgomery County based on voting results, but is infamous for tanking the County's nighttime economy with his disastrous Nighttime Economy initiative.

Will Montgomery County business leaders (and voters) finally take the advice of Bob Ehrlich they so far have rejected: "Get dangerous," and elect a few Republicans to the Council? Or will they just keep slouching towards Gomorrah?

53 comments:

Anonymous said...

I'm genuinely curious. Are you going to do this for every single company that does not set up shop in moco? And why are you only assigning blame at the county level but not at the state?

Anonymous said...

They obviously didn’t consider coming here because ZoHo MoCo sounds too much like an expensive cold-pour coffee.

Robert Dyer said...

5:38: You certainly can assign blame for Hogan opposing the new bridge to Dulles, and for the state's high corporate tax rate. But you can't blame the state for Montgomery County not building it themselves using a private firm, or for not even bothering to bid on Zoho and compete for the HQ.

Anonymous said...

Another defeat for the NoVa Cartel.

Robert Dyer said...

*5:34* Sorry.

Anna said...

Blogger Anna said...

Every day I get up and Robert Dyer is spewing hate for Montgomery County.
A prisoner of envy, stuck in a hell of his own making.

6:08 AM 4/9/18

Robert Dyer said...

5:59: Same NoVa that got Amazon HQ2, Northrop, Hilton Hotels, Volkswagen, Nestle, Gerber, CEB, Intelsat, etc., etc. and etc.?

NoVa is #winning last time I checked. Meanwhile, MoCo is at rock bottom in the DC region by every measurement of economic development, even behind Culpeper and Rappahannock counties. Humiliating.

Robert Dyer said...

6:12: It's very instructive that you describe criticism of inept and corrupt elected officials as "spewing hate." If you prefer countries where you can't criticize corrupt government, why don't you move to Cuba or North Korea?

Anna said...

Nope, that isn't at all what I said. You may have taken it that way, but honey, that shows more about you than about me.

Anna said...

That's pretty ballsy of you to complain of corruption while promoting Republicanism.

Robert Dyer said...

6:19: If that's not what you said, then your comment makes no sense whatsoever. Criticism of government is "hate for Montgomery County?" LOL - when you're trying to help improve Montgomery County, that's the opposite of hate. If I hated Montgomery County, I'd do what you're doing, and defend the crooks to allow them to keep running MoCo into the ground.

6:22: Another commment that makes no sense. There are no Republicans in County government offices.

Anna said...

Are you just playing dumb, or is that your usual obliviousness to reality and the truth?

Anna said...

Are you "spewing hate"? Why, yes...yes you are.
Are you "A prisoner of envy, stuck in a hell of his own making"? Well, you're certainly consumed by your envy of those who have succeeded when you haven't, that's blatantly obvious in your repeated personal attacks and name-calling.
I'd consider that hell...so my comments make perfect sense and seem to be based in reality.

Robert Dyer said...

6:30: Who has "succeeded?" The councilmembers who have failed to attract a single major corporate HQ in two decades, have tanked the nighttime economy, have run the County's economy into the ground, have made MoCo the lowest-ranked economic development jurisdiction in the region by every measure, presided over a 53% increase in rape and 72% spike in violent gang-related crime last year alone, and over a school system in steep decline since 2010?

If that's success, you have a strange way of measuring it.

Anonymous said...

You and Li Young should marry each other. What a perfect pair of commies.

Robert Dyer said...

6:46: You really narrow down who you are by the fact that you even know who Lih Young is. I've been a sworn anti-communist my whole life, so your attack of "commie" is hilarious, especially given your strong support for the Fellow Travelers on the County Council.

Anonymous said...

*Gentle* reminder that Amazon gave MoCo a hard pass and chose Crystal City.

Amazon got all of the county's proprietary data to ingest and MoCo leaders didn't even get an Amazon t-shirt, let alone HQ2.

Anonymous said...

"A quick search finds flights from Austin-Bergstrom to a whopping 40 cities in India, including New Delhi, Mumbai and Hyderabad."

Not sure where you got that. These are the only international destinations listed for Austin-Bergstrom, outside of Canada and Mexico:

-British Airways - London/Heathrow

-Norwegian Air Express - London/Gatwick (seasonal only)

-Lufthansa (starts May 2019).

Anonymous said...

"A sworn anti-Communist his whole life"

...who has never held a job and never paid for his own housing. LOL

Robert Dyer said...

7:13: A quick Google search listed many Austin-India flights to 40 different cities in India. You're saying Google is lying?

7:18: And your evidence to make those two laughably-false claims is...?

Anonymous said...

There are no direct flights between Austin and anywhere in India. Idiot.

Anonymous said...

Even Dallas Fort Worth has no direct flights to anywhere in India.

Robert Dyer said...

8:08/8:19: Where did I say they were direct? You're making a fool of yourself here.

Robert Dyer said...

Some are as few as one stop, like Austin-Toronto-New Delhi.

Anonymous said...

You could say that about every airport in the country.

Anonymous said...

Presumably, Jeff Bezos chuckled when MoCo claimed to be accessible to three airports :)

Robert Dyer said...

8:41: Not only is that absolutely not true, but this particular airport is only a 7 minute drive from their future HQ. And has flights to 40 cities in India. You're struggling, man, you're struggling.

Robert Dyer said...

8:56: Yes, he did. And then picked Northern Virginia like every other major corporation for the last two decades. With the traffic here some days, you might as well fly out of Philadelphia if you are trying to reach any of the "3 airports" from Montgomery County. I've flown out of all 3, and it's a major pain and ordeal to get to and from all 3.

Anonymous said...

Austin does NOT have "flights to 40 cities in India". It doesn't even have flights to even one city outside of North America besides London.

Robert Dyer said...

9:03: LOL - a simple Google search proves it does. You sound like a complete moron claiming otherwise. You're definitely a bizarre choice by the MoCo cartel to carry their water before a highly-educated, world-traveling populace like that found in the D.C. area.

Your attempt to defend your humiliated County Council bosses was totally defeated long ago, and your efforts since then have been to tell lies and fantasize about an alternate reality.

What an idiot. Punch yourself!

Anonymous said...

Name an airport in any US city that does NOT have non-direct flights to at least 40 cities in India. They all do.

My guess is that wasn't a big issue (flights to India) but rather flights to visit customers in the US, and Austin is decent for that airport-wise. Where it lacks is direct international flights -- it's got just Frankfurt and London, but I don't think that was an issue for Zoho.

Robert Dyer said...

9:16: Every U.S. city most definitely does not have flights that stop only once or twice before landing in 40 different Indian cities. The selling points were that Austin has a great international airport for a firm doing business here and abroad, and it is only 7 minutes away from their future HQ site.

Robert Dyer said...

Dulles would have been better than Austin, with direct flights to many international business destinations, but thanks to the Council blocking the new bridge to Dulles, we were sidelined in yet another corporate HQ search. Heckuva job, Brownie!

Anonymous said...

"Your attempt to defend your humiliated County Council bosses was totally defeated long ago, and your efforts since then have been to tell lies and fantasize about an alternate reality."

So how come you can't seem to get more than single-digit percentages of the vote in Montgomery County?

Robert Dyer said...

9:24: Very simple - the Washington Post never wrote a single article about me, nor a single article about the Council At-Large race in 2018. Jennifer Barrios was the reporter who was "covering" the county, and she did not even have the professionalism to return messages, much less report on bread-and-butter election year stories like Democrats dodging debates.

None of the organizations that previously hosted bipartisan Council At-Large debates - including Montgomery Women, Chevy Chase/CCCFH, MyMCMedia, GOCA, etc. - held one in 2018. Some who did try were pressured and canceled them. Clearly there was collusion between the MoCo cartel and the Post and community organizations.

Finally, there was clear evidence of voter fraud and voting results manipulation, as evidenced by anomalous results at dozens of polling places. This will be submitted to the County and state boards of elections - and the FBI, if warranted.

Anonymous said...

"Dulles would have been better than Austin, with direct flights to many international business destinations, but thanks to the Council blocking the new bridge to Dulles, we were sidelined in yet another corporate HQ search. Heckuva job, Brownie!"

So what is NoVa's excuse for not getting the Zoho HQ?

Robert Dyer said...

In short, it was a fraudulent election resembling those in Russia or Cuba. My opponents weren't even campaigning, and had less yard signs around the county than I did - they knew they had it in the bag.

Robert Dyer said...

9:32: With a track record of success like NoVa has, they don't need Zoho. In contrast, Hogan and Leggett had to give away the store just to keep Marriott. That's the beauty of success - every individual company isn't a life-or-death situation. They can pick and choose. The Amazon jobs alone are like getting dozens of corporations in one win for Virginia.

Anonymous said...

"This will be submitted to the County and state boards of elections - and the FBI, if warranted."

When?

Anonymous said...

All you ever do is criticise how bad MOCO is. If your so unhappy with the way it's being run, then MOVE AWAY.
I promise you that nobody will miss you and your idiotic blog.

Anonymous said...

10:07am the county hasn't been we'll run (just ask Jeffrey P. Bezos).

Dyer is reporting as a locally owned independent news operator.

Dyer is involved in the community and is trying to improve the situation.

If you love your local area, I wouldn't recommend leaving if improvements can be made.

Any questions?

Anonymous said...

10:07am said "If you don't like it, get out" - spoken like a true community activist...lol

Anonymous said...

Personally, I'm happy to blame Trump, Hogan & Riemer and get rid of all three! And, I think I can make a case for all three. For instance, the tax bill hailed by Trump, most Republicans and probably Dyer, puts Maryland (especially MoCo) and other states at a competitive disadvantage due to the cap on state & local tax deductions and other speciic measures that targeted blue state taxpayers & favored red state tax payers. Other Republican sponsored legislation, budgetary, and regulatory measures are also targeting blue states like MD and favoring red states. This is particularly irksome, since Maryland is already among those states that is a net loser in terms of taxes paid to the Feds and return to the state.

Robert Dyer said...

9:33: Prior to the tax change, taxpayers in states like Oklahoma and Tennessee were subsidizing blue states' draconian property taxes, and blue state politicians were under less pressure to lower taxes due to the deduction.

So anger about high property taxes should now be directed squarely at the people responsible for them - the 9 members of our County Council.

Baloney Concrete said...

“Prior to the tax change, taxpayers in states like Oklahoma and Tennessee were subsidizing blue states' draconian property taxes”

Flat out false. 22 bottomless Pinocchios for you.

Robert Dyer said...

6:39: You do realize any homeowner in Montgomery County is laughing at you right now? Because their property tax in most cases went...up. Meaning they are finally picking up the tab that was previously being subsidized by the red states.

You also are clearly shaken by the explosive end of red states having to subsidize blue states' property taxes - and by extension, subsidize the "superior services and public schools" those blue states supposedly offer with those draconian high taxes. You and Jeb! and Larry! have more in common than you think.

Anonymous said...

"their property tax in most cases went...up. Meaning they are finally picking up the tab that was previously being subsidized by the red states."

That's not how it works. The reduction in the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes is not somehow causing Montgomery County property taxes to increase. Do you understand how a tax deduction works?

Anonymous said...

10:01 - Yikes. Dyer seems to think that the federal income tax deduction for state and local taxes is a direct subsidy to local governments, rather than a rebate to individual taxpayers.

Robert Dyer said...

10:51: Wrong - it is a subsidy, because making the local taxes less painful via federal deductions has allowed those local taxes to remain higher. Now that the full pain of blue state property taxes is being felt by blue state taxpayers, a tax revolt is more likely.

10:01: What I was trying to say is that in most cases, those blue state residents' federal income taxes went up because they couldn't take the full deduction on property taxes anymore. So their property taxes essentially did increase, because they had to pay a larger portion of them now without the deduction.

Anna said...

Blogger Anna said...

You just don't understand how numbers work. That's on full display in any of your articles involving money or percentages or calculations or even theory.

Baloney, banging your head against a wall uses 150 calories an hour. ;)

5:25 AM 4/11/19
"Montgomery County on sidelines

Robert Dyer said...

6:13: The Councilmembers are the ones who don't know how numbers work - that's why the County is in the red Every. Single. May. when the budget comes up. True fiscal geniuses!

Meanwhile, I'm the most-qualified to serve on the Council, because I do know how numbers work. For example, a government needs to spend within its means. And you don't spend $22,000 on a $1000 security camera system.

Anonymous said...

"Blue state residents...property taxes essentially did increase, because they had to pay a larger portion of them now without the deduction."

Robbie, that's not how it works. You pay ALL of the local property tax bill yourself regardless of the federal income tax deduction in Year A. Then in the spring of Year B, when you file your federal income tax return for Year A, you get a deduction from your income, if you itemize.

G. Money said...

That's some subsidy!

AP: "Connecticut residents paid an average of $15,643 per person in federal taxes in 2015, according to a report by the Rockefeller Institute of Government. Massachusetts paid $13,582 per person, New Jersey paid $13,137 and New York paid $12,820.

California residents paid an average of $10,510.

At the other end, Mississippi residents paid an average of $5,740 per person, while West Virginia paid $6,349, Kentucky paid $6,626 and South Carolina paid $6,665.

Low-tax red states also fare better when you take into account federal spending.

Mississippi received $2.13 for every tax dollar the state sent to Washington in 2015, according to the Rockefeller study. West Virginia received $2.07, Kentucky got $1.90 and South Carolina got $1.71.

Meanwhile, New Jersey received 74 cents in federal spending for tax every dollar the state sent to Washington. New York received 81 cents, Connecticut received 82 cents and Massachusetts received 83 cents.

California fared a bit better than other blue states. It received 96 cents for every dollar the state sent to Washington.

On average, states received $1.14 in federal spending for every tax dollar they sent to Washington. That’s why the federal government has a budget deficit."