AT&T saw the benefits of moving to the Lone Star State before most. Texas has been our headquarters since 1993. As we've grown as a company—from $10.7 billion in revenues in 1993 to more than $130 billion in 2014—we've also seen Texas grow. During that time, the state's GDP nearly tripled, to $1.66 trillion. If Texas were a country, it would have the 12th-largest economy in the world.
Why has the Texas economy grown so quickly? It's a great place to do business and to live.
Regulators and lawmakers in Texas have taken a number of steps to encourage businesses to move to Texas and invest there. Its tax structure makes the cost of doing business in Texas more competitive and encourages investment—which in turn creates jobs. For companies like AT&T, incentives to invest include sales tax rebates on equipment used for video, Internet and telecom services. With no income tax for individuals and families, Texas businesses can attract some of the best talent in the nation.
Investment in infrastructure has also made Texas easy to reach by air, land or sea. The state has more than 310,000 miles of public roads—more than any other state. Both people and goods can travel to Texas via 26 commercial airports and 624 miles of coastline, with more than 20 ports, including Houston, the nation's largest.
At the same time, technology and innovation are also driving growth. Start-ups no longer need to go to Silicon Valley to launch their businesses: They can come to Texas. Austin consistently lands among the top places in the nation to launch a start-up. But in the last few years, the tech and start-up scene in Dallas has also taken off. Nationally recognized accelerators and incubators are building an infrastructure to support entrepreneurs. The result has been more than 30 tech acquisitions since 2012 and more than 20 tech IPOs planned for 2015. With this vibrant and growing ecosystem, Dallas has begun to appear along with Austin on lists of the top cities for start-ups and tech.