Archive for May, 2012

Pilots And Property Taxes

Tuesday, May 29th, 2012

May 29, 2012

There has been a lot of discussion and hostile ads concerning the local PILOT (payment in lieu of taxes) program which allows local companies to avoid paying property taxes at their full rate, sometimes for up to 40 years. I decided to do some investigating to see what was happening in the three other major Tennessee counties, Davidson, Hamilton and Knox counties. I have attached (more…)

Ideas To Lower The Cost Of Government

Monday, May 21st, 2012

May 21, 2012

There are all sorts of ideas floating around to raise more money to cover the budget gap or to lower the cost of government. Therefore I decided to put together some statistics on the three bodies of local government other than the educational bureaucracy. The transitional planning commission, the new combined Shelby County Board of Education, the six local incorporated cities in Shelby County and the State of Tennessee are wrestling with that monster.

I believe in keeping it simple by boiling down the numbers into an understandable chart. This has not been easy as the figures are hidden in the (more…)

Health Care Costs? Public/Private, How Much?

Monday, May 14th, 2012

May 14, 2012

I asked last week for the private sector annual health care costs. I got quite a few responses but generally here are the results.

One private sector employee (self employed) pays $21,600 per year for himself and family. Retirees pay about $12,000 to $13,000 per year including husband and wife which comes out of their social security checks for Medicare Part B and out of their pocket for Parts C and D including drugs.

Most private employees pay about 30 to 40% of their company provided health care costs if they are full time. Many, however, are part time employees and receive no health care benefits.

Look at the attached chart and it is small wonder that many public employees (more…)

PILOTS-Who Is In Charge Of This City’s Flight?

Wednesday, May 9th, 2012

May 9, 2012

Janice Fullilove came up an idea recently to help with the balancing of the budget for 2013. She proposed that those who are currently receiving Pilot tax reduction status should pay a one year full tax payment to help the City out. After all, did we not give them a tax reduction? In David Lenoir’s report (Shelby County Trustee) he reported that there were 477 Pilot contracts with (more…)

The MLGW Bank and Poor Old Memphis

Monday, May 7th, 2012

May 7, 2012

Hey Buddy, can you lend me a dime?

I have been studying the financial statements of the MLGW and here are some facts.

MLGW increased its net assets (profits) 2010 compared to 2005. $364 million dollars.

MLGW increased its working capital (current assets minus current liabilities) 2010 compared to 2005. $172 million dollars.

MLGW increased its customer base, 2010 compared to 2005. NONE (essentially 420,000 customers)

MLGW paid into its OPEB trust over $100 million dollars in the last 5 years over and above its annual retiree health care cost. The City of Memphis paid just $10 million and is now talking about pulling this out to cover its 2013 (more…)

I Need Information From The Taxpaying Public

Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012

May 2, 2012

I have been calling for reform of public services paid for by the taxpayers of Memphis and Shelby County. I have presented information on salaries, pensions, health care and benefits in the public sector. I have compared them to the private sector, both the working folks and the retired people.

Generally private sector working people plan to retire on social security, a 401 K savings plan and what they can save in addition. Some employers also contribute to their employees 401K, usually on a 50% match of the employee’s contribution up to a maximum of 6% from the employee matched by 3% from the employer.

After retirement, the private sector working stiff goes onto Medicare when he or she reaches social security age. They each then have to pay $1384.80 per year minimum for part B of Medicare coming (more…)