Archive for the ‘PILOTS’ Category
September 12, 2013
As I start reading through this massive document I have to start with the introduction and rationale of the plan. Here are the first 26 pages of the draft plan.
To be a successful urban area, Memphis has to do the following.
- Increase property values
- Decrease poverty
- Ensure government efficiency
- Improve neighborhoods
- Invest in human capital
- Grow the economy
Wow!! What great ideas. Why did I not think of those?
September 9, 2013
Strategic Five-Fiscal and Management Plan
I have been reading through the huge five year City of Memphis Management Plan prepared by the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning and the PFM Group involving Rick Masson and V. Lynn Evans.
It is fascinating and full of information. It will take me some time to digest it. As I do I will let you, the tax paying public, share in the (more…)
In an article published in the Commercial Appeal on Sunday discussing the recently passed property tax increase for Shelby County (http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2013/aug/11/a-perfect-storm-unique-challenges-on-revenue/) County Commissioner Henri Brooks takes aim at the Memphis-Shelby County PILOT program. Brooks objects to PILOT programs taking resources that, in her view, would be better spent on education than the business community. The PILOT program (Payment-In-Lieu-of-Taxes) provides relief of 90% of Memphis property taxes and 75% of Shelby County taxes to qualified businesses. The program is administered by EDGE (Economic Development Growth Engine) in Shelby County.
The PILOT program seeks to grow the economy of Memphis and Shelby County by making it more attractive for companies to locate here. PILOT grants are given to companies and projects that meet the goals of EDGE, but there is no obligation to give PILOT money to (more…)
July 15, 2013
There was an article in the CA yesterday entitled “What path to long-term fiscal health for Memphis”. The article had statements by several Council members and here is my take on their statements.
Shea Flinn: He starts off with the theory of the survival of the fittest. He states that some of his colleagues see city government as the employer of the first, second and last resort. I agree because whenever I suggest a reform evolving layoffs, most of the City Council members have a nervous breakdown. He points out that the majority of the Council refuse to face the facts.
He made the bold proposal to raise the tax rate to a level to pay for the present level of services. They refused and stuck their heads in the sand.
Myron Lowery: Myron pointed out that the $3.36 tax rate would produce the (more…)
May 21, 2013
You probably read the article this morning in the CA about the warning from the state of Tennessee about the fiscal condition of the City. (State comptroller warns Memphis officials about city’s fiscal condition).
I have attached a copy of the letter and I have marked sections that are devastating. I have known for some time that they are kicking the can down the road but I did not know about state law in this area. Thank God someone is ringing the fire alarm bell.
Nothing could be clearer. We are becoming Detroit, Stockton and others. The Mayor is already giving in to the unions and proposes adding AFSCME to the pension debt of the City. He is not proposing any real solutions to the problem. We have to cut benefits, salaries and health care costs or we face takeover by the state.
March 18, 2013
There is another Pilot approval in the works. This time it is for TJX Companies, Inc. The EDGE board (Economic Development Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County) will meet next Wednesday (March 20th) at 3 PM at Memphis Bioworks, 20 S. Dudley.
As usual, EDGE calculated that the return will be $1.23 dollars of return for each dollar of taxes abated. In October 2012, Mr. Dulberger and others appeared on the WKNO show (Behind The Headlines http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-kcnmFdLLM). During the show he said that past Pilots returned $1.87 for each one dollar of tax abatement. I have yet to see a Pilot application that did not claim to return more in the future for taxes abated now. Yet when you look at the financial crisis we have locally, particularly at the City, you have to ask “Where is the beef?. If the Pilots granted returned what they promised, we should be rolling in a flood of green.
December 17, 2012
I went to a Community Redevelopment Agency meeting recently at City Hall and about 50 members of the public were present prepared to discuss and protest the Heritage Trails redevelopment proposal put forth by Robert Lipscomb. He failed to show up. You ask yourself, who is Robert Lipscomb? Good question.
October 1, 2012
Last Thursday I participated in a filming of a WKNO program called “Behind the Headlines”. It was led by Eric Barnes, Publisher of the Memphis Daily News. Also participating was Reid Dulberger, new head of EDGE (Economic Development Growth Engine) and two great reporters for the paper, Andy Meek and Bill Dries. The program will be shown at 7 PM on Friday October 5th and will also be (more…)
September 4, 2012
For years as I drove home from work, I passed a used car lot on Lamar that had a sign that said “We Tote The Note”.
Recently I asked the City and the County for information on property taxes for the fiscal year 2011 to see who totes the note locally. I wanted to know how much is paid by residential versus commercial, industrial, farm, exempt, multi and personalty.
August 16, 2012
As I was looking at my City property tax bill due at the end of August, I ask myself the question “What is residential property tax total as a percentage of the total property tax?”.
You would think that this is a question that could be easily found online. So I went to the City of Memphis, Shelby County and the Shelby County Trustee for the answer. As of right now only the Trustee answered and I thank him and his staff for the outstanding job that they do and their (more…)