Nasdaq, ranked as the second largest stock exchange in the world behind the New York Stock Exchange, might be eyeing a presence in the Lone Star State. On Friday, Nov. 20, Nasdaq officials met with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and other governors seemingly about a potential move.
A statement released by the Nasdaq seems to imply the stock exchange is seeking to relocate.
"Texas continues to be the premier economic destination in the country, attracting more leading businesses than any other state. The Governor looks forward to meeting with Nasdaq and showcasing Texas' business-friendly environment, skilled workforce, robust infrastructure, and low taxes, all of which foster greater economic growth in the Lone Star State," said Renae Eze, spokesperson for Gov. Abbott.
Officials particularly noted Texas' low taxes as they battle with New York and New Jersey over the current tax rates. New Jersey is proposing a fee on data transactions, which would net the state $300 million a year, for at least two years.
"In order to escape that onerous and punitive taxation, they are looking for other places to locate," said University of Houston finance professor Craig Pirrong.
New Jersey Assemblyman John McKeon is the legislator who proposed the bill that has the coalition of trading firms and exchanges thinking about jumping.
"We're looking for alternate sources of revenue," McKeon told ABC13. "Nothing is imminent on the bill. We are trying to be thoughtful and listen to their side of things."
Abbott expressed he wants Texas to be the place Nasdaq moves some of its data operations, as he thinks it could be an economic boom. But Texas is not the only state looking to lure away the data centers.
So what happens if Nasdaq chooses to relocate?
"To some respects, an economic benefit to whatever state they chose to locate to. These are very high-tech businesses so they don't have a lot of employees, but the employees tend to be relatively high-paid tech type jobs," Pirrong said.