Carjacking the taxpayer, by the small few, is the currency of decline in Memphis. In fact, some dismiss this claim, labeling it personal attacks or name calling. And they are correct, it is personal attacks based on the data supported facts of normalized decline, carjacking the taxpayer, violating and feeding on a Memphis community in need. Much of the carjacking is done under the heading of “government efficiency”. But there is nothing that is as inefficient and nationally embarrassing as the FedEx/Memphis Tomorrow public-private complex.
Carjacking the taxpayer comes in the form of excessive incentives and an unmeasured FedEx/Memphis Tomorrow complex that is down in all categories over almost 20 years using your federal, state and local tax dollars. Runaway elitism, fueled in large part by poverty, is not offensive to an archaic and nationally embarrassing leadership complex that has racked up an estimated $100B in below average GDP growth, $50B in wages and $1.5B in taxpayer shortfalls.
Fred Smith or former Mayor Mark Luttrell could not hold anyone’s jockstrap in a debate defending the runaway elitism and outcomes of the FedEx/Memphis Tomorrow complex.
History says, the FedEx/Memphis Tomorrow Complex has failed….
So who do elitists turn to when they want to carjack the taxpayer? None would be better than former lawman and Mayor Mark Luttrell. When they needed someone to botch the workforce development system and stifle small business, they turned to Mark Luttrell. I know. I made a formal professional complaint to Mayor Luttrell’s office as connected workforce development efforts were seriously behind schedule at the time in 2016. Luttrell turned around and carjacked the taxpayer and stifled local small business leaving the workforce development system in an indefensible mess when he left office costing taxpayers an estimated and now recurring $15M per year.
When the elitist wanted to implement systemic and fiscally liberal corporate socialism, in the form of EDGE, they turned to lawman Mark Luttrell to carjack the taxpayer. And when FedEx wanted to carjack the taxpayer with a new PILOT for the FedEx World Trade Center (WTC), they turned to lawman Mark Luttrell. But what’s even more alarming about the new FedEx WTC PILOT, FedEx did not even want to abide by the new PILOT and pay the 25% PILOT based on an examination of public records.
FedEx World Trade Center (WTC) PILOT
Beyond tax abating PILOTs, FedEx is tax exempt on several properties in Memphis that amount up to approximately $5.5M in tax exemptions per year where they pay no taxes at all ! In many ways, from a tax standpoint, FedEx operates like a local nonprofit. But this is about the new FedEx WTC PILOT.
The amount of the FedEx WTC PILOT is publicly published nowhere. And its fiscally liberal approval led by lawman Mark Luttrell, came on the heels of a 20 year 100% PILOT valued roughly at $70M+. The excessive new 75% PILOT is valued at $64M over 15 years. And that is on top of FedEx’s annual tax exemptions, other PILOTS and $34M Downtown PILOT. Can anyone say “Runaway Elitism” ? How about “Corporate Socialism”? You can’t talk in those terms in Memphis.
But here is what is worse. After receiving all of this tax break consideration in the already nationally low business cost operation center of Memphis, FedEx did not even abide by the new 75% abatement PILOT. They wanted to stay on the old PILOT with a 100% abatement. Somehow, after the Collierville IDB approval, FedEx was granted an extension of the old PILOT resulting in an annual County taxpayer loss of $750K per year. This can found by examining the dates contained in the 2017 Shelby County Trustee and 2018 Trustee reports for properties located at 60 Bailey Station and 0 FedEx.
The additional challenge of this information, is it is published and questioned nowhere. Its not part of the public discourse, as flat property tax revenues are discussed amidst a range of community challenges. There is not a consolidated incentive database that would let taxpayers and policymakers know how much corporations and/or real estate owners are getting in total local tax consideration. FedEx total tax consideration can only be found by making a series of public information requests from the Assessor and the Collierville Industrial Development Board and examining documentation by multiple tax abating agencies in EDGE and Downtown Memphis Commission. (As a note, John Duncan of the Collierville IDB was helpful and expeditious in servicing my public information request)
Further, there is no investigative press with the press either owned by or seemingly taking cues from the corporate elitists within a community without public university thought leadership that questions runaway elitism. Poverty is well documented by Elena Delavega’s Poverty Fact Sheet. But under the FedEx/Memphis Tomorrow Board of Trustees, UofM public university thought leadership on economic development policy that confronts runaway elitism is non-existent. Heck the University of Memphis itself is busy getting local tax consideration under its FedEx/Memphis Tomorrow Board of Trustees while its Memphis Economy project, partnered with EDGE, leaves the economic development complex wholly unmeasured.
Memphis lacks informed taxpayer advocacy in the public discourse. The elitist effectively disembowel the practice of taxpayer advocacy through a rigged system. Without public university thought leadership, aggressive public oversight, public measurement and non-investigative press led, in part, by editors like Eric Barnes of the establishment owned Daily Memphian, Memphis remains sheltered.
Barnes rejects editorial submissions, without reading them, while calling citizen taxpayer advocacy in private blogs as name calling. And for that matter, it is name calling in calling out the offensive, normalized and destructive practice of unbridled and unchecked runaway elitism that violates and feeds on a Memphis community in need. In the real world, outside of Memphis, the former is nothing more than the basic practice of taxpayer advocacy.
Memphis is brainwashed and beat down believing that they would be nothing without FedEx. But FedEx would be nothing without Memphis. That is food for thought. Meanwhile, the Memphis taxpayer is carjacked, falls behind in the global economy with excessive incentives and high poverty levels while Barnes and publications like the Daily Memphian remain unoffended and offended at the calling out of the authors of runaway elitism.
As far as my personal financial and small business mugging by Fred Smith, Mark Luttrell and Pitt Hyde, they feel entitled to financially mug local residents and small business within the public-private complex while implementing systemic decline and ripping off their ideas only to see them shipped off to Canada and Boston. Then, with their finger strategically placed, they wonder why small business struggles in Memphis.
Meanwhile, as you are getting financially mugged, you turn around and figuratively bust them in the mouth where this is locally termed, “inappropriate and politically incorrect”. Smith and Hyde would be bankrupt over and over if they just paid 1/2 the debt they owed Memphis. And allowing them to continually carjack the taxpayer only makes the debt worse on a debt they could never repay. Smith, Hyde and Luttrell are in effect taxpayer carjackers. And History Says, They Suck !
PS. My rejected Daily Memphian submission was data supported, professionally written without so called name calling and can be accessed here.