EDGE Public Comment – 06/20/18

As I oppose some of these projects, there is nothing against the companies represented here today. In fact, in their shoes I would do the same thing as the EDGE Board rolls out the Green Carpet of the taxpayer for them. This is what I would like to ask of this EDGE Board

  1. Shelby County is the only County in the State doing residential PILOTs. This points to excessiveness. While using analyses loaded with multipliers, I would ask the Board to amend both the Broad and Thrive at the Park projects and require each to have a minimum 1.0 cost benefit ratio thereby reducing the abatement on each by approximately 50% . I would like to see zero abatement but at least an adoption of the amended proposal lets the taxpayer breakeven as an equal partner on the abatement which in any other part of the state would be excessive. Regardless of a zero abatement or a reduced abatement both of these projects are going to happen and these developers are going to make money.
  2. Deny the $650K Hollywood Feed increased abatement amendment which has already been secured with an 8 year PILOT Term and been amended upwards once. Hollywood Feed states in their amendment request “we just did not know how significant our growth would be”. That growth is occurring right here in Memphis, TN. with 70% store location growth since 2016. They do not need additional help from the taxpayer. In fact, with growth like that, we should be asking them for money !! And Congratulations to Hollywood Feed for their success !
  3. I would ask any of you that have served more than 4 years on this board to do the right thing for the community and resign after today’s meeting. You will be giving back to the community by filling gaps in a badly written ordinance that did not provide for EDGE Board Term Limits and adequate legislative oversight.
  4. Madam Secretary, record this public statement as stated, because whoever prepares the minutes often guts substantive public comment from the EDGE minutes that the Board approves at every meeting.
  5. As a needed vital system check, to the press, you should report retention PILOT accounting as incomplete resulting in a significant overstated “Total New Tax Revenue Generated” on the EDGE Scorecard. I say its bogus and press you can say that if you like with an approximate $900M overstatement.
  6. So just for today and just for kicks, pretend that you are making economic development decisions for the customer taxpayer and have some deliberative discussions and don’t rubber stamp everything before you while unnecessarily using taxpayer money for so called “economic development”.
  7. In summary, this proposal is pro-business and pro-economic development where everyone makes money and saves taxpayers approximately $9.5M. So again, 1) approve amendment of minimum 1.0 Cost / Benefit Ratio on Broad and Thrive 2) Deny Hollywood Feed Amendment and 3) Resign all which will improve corporate responsibility for a community in need.