One of the lone bright spots in the Oklahoma economy over the past few years is Paycom. If you're not familiar with the company, well, then you probably don't have a friend that works at Paycom. As we've documented on this site over the years, the place is like a mini-cult. Although they have still not hired a company beekeeper, they apparently go all out and try to treat employees like Chesapeake did during the Aubrey McClendon era. They have a company proms, employee health and fitness centers, and even something called "Oral Sex Fridays." I'm still trying to figure out what that's all about. I think they stole the idea from a la mode.
The employees probably deserve all the nice perks. Since going public in 2014, Paycom has had a ton of success. The NYSE company has seen its stock price more than double to $35 a share. In 2015, Paycom earned $215-million in revenue with net income of $21-million. It currently has a market cap of $2.08-billion. I don't really know what all that means, but it sounds impressive and I'm laying the foundation to a point here, so give me a break.
In honor of all that success, and with our state and city facing a serious financial and economic crisis, our city leaders have decided to honor Paycom and its out-of-state shareholders the very best way we can – with taxpayer subsidies and corporate welfare.
The city council has agreed to give a big-name software company a $1.2 million incentive, as long as it follows through on its promise to create hundreds of new jobs.The money will help Paycom Software Inc. construct a new, third office building to tack on to its Oklahoma City headquarters, located at 7501 W Memorial Rd.In return, Paycom says the city can expect 423 new jobs over the next five years. The company estimates those jobs will command average yearly salaries of around $49,500."It is important that we build a community where our children and our grandchildren want to live and they have jobs that they can hold and make a different living," said Cathy O'Connor president of The Alliance for Economic Development of Oklahoma City. "Right now is the time when we absolutely need to be focused on creating high-quality jobs for Oklahoma City."The money comes from bonds sold by the city and approved by voters.
Once again, Paycom made $21-million in net income last year. Isn't this kind of like finding out your next door neighbor with the new Tesla also receives unemployment and disability benefits? Think about that the next time you run over a pothole and get a flat tire.
Also, why are we giving "job creation" subsidies to a company that was going to hire new employees anyway? Do our city leaders not pay attention to billboards? I'm pretty sure Lamar named Paycom their "Customer of the Year" for all the "Now Hiring" billboard they scooped up around town. They should give the incentives to a company that actually needs the money. You know, a company like TLO. Then I can hire employees, and in turn, use Paycom to manage it or whatever. It's like the circle of life from the Lion King, only not as uplifting.
I'm not the only one who thinks this way. Ed Shadid, our city council equivalent to the person in class who always raises his hand to ask annoying questions, agrees with me.
"I have a real problem with diverting $75 million away from our neighborhoods for their streets, drainage, parks, to give to a company who almost certainly would have created these jobs anyway," said Shadid, adding the companies rarely generate increases in sales tax, where Oklahoma City is lacking.Paycom has seen no shortage of success, according to the NewsChannel 4 archives, and employees have reaped the benefits of personal training, catered meals and cheap health insurance.Shadid would rather see the state take care of commercial economic incentives."It's not just that we're giving Paycom or Continental Energy or Chesapeake Energy millions of dollars, it's that those millions of dollars would have gone toward streets, parks and improvements in their neighborhood," he said. "Really it's generating very little sales tax. So to create jobs that create income tax is probably a better responsibility of the state."
Calm down, Ed. The last thing we want to do is get our state involved in all this. They'll probably pass a law that all money spent on public schools should be given to energy companies.
Anyway, I guess we should wish Paycom the best of luck with the free money they're getting. I hope they hire good people with it. Hopefully they'll let us know if they ever launch a blogging department. I could use a decent job, and "Oral Sex Fridays" does seem like nice perk. Plus, I've never been to a grown up prom.