While in the throws of the Coronavirus, runway elitism persisted at the EDGE Board on Wednesday for the benefit of the small few. Citing competition with Southaven, MS., the racially diverse EDGE Board unanimously approved an excessive and sick $2.4M DHL PILOT to retain 105 already existing low wage warehousing jobs.
The DHL PILOT award violates, just about, every leg of the Brookings FOCUS Economic Development plan while exploiting the taxpayer in a majority black community in need. The problem is, like workforce development and so many other plans in Memphis, the FOCUS plan was never implemented or measured.
Had the plan been implemented, the DHL PILOT would not have even been considered as one of the FOCUS plan goals was to “Diversify the Economy Beyond Logistics”. Incenting the retention of low wage warehouse jobs is anything but the former while in competition with Southaven, MS., which also violates the regional collaboration leg of the FOCUS plan. See below graphic taken from a FOCUS Plan document:
The fact is that this DHL incentive is another real estate deal and not economic development. The package mirrors in many ways other excessive EDGE job PILOT real estate deals such as LeSaint Logistics and Mark Anthony Brewing.
All of these deals abated taxes on existing property, which is expressed through EDGE’s community reinvestment credit (CRC) program in exchange, unfortunately, for low wage warehousing jobs in these cases. These elitist real estate deals are unjust to the taxpayer in a majority black Memphis community in need.
Some Facts About the DHL PILOT
An excessive $2.3M will be transferred from a Memphis community in need to a $69 billion dollar DHL company headquartered in Bonn, Germany and a real estate landlord located in Atlanta, GA.
Had the jobs been retained in Southaven, MS. there would have been virtually no job loss for Memphians.
By abating taxes on existing property, which cost taxpayers $1.2M, EDGE increased their fee revenue by more than 100% from $57K to $117K.
Runaway elitism, carried out by a racially diverse public-private complex, continues in the midst of the Coronavirus while feeding on a majority black Memphis community in need. The winners are a $69B DHL company headquartered in Bonn Germany and a real estate landlord in Atlanta, GA. Oh well. So much for taxpayer justice in an impoverished Memphis community in need…..