Archive for December, 2014

              Earlier this week, we posted the most read blog post of 2014: Creating a Culture of Opportunity for Memphis.  You can read it here. The rest of the top 10 posts: #2 — It’s The Memphis Region, Not The City, That’s #1 in Poverty “Suburban conventional wisdom about […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Poverty | December 29th, 2014 12:51am CST | 3 Comments

Posted September 17, the following commentary was by far the most read and circulated post of 2014: The young man – African American, 23 years old – sits at a picnic table behind a Germantown assisted living facility with his head in his hands. He is exhausted and lost.  He is working two jobs to […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Taxation | December 22nd, 2014 12:33am CST | 5 Comments

              Greater Memphis Chamber President Phil Trenary, who’s clearly the right person at the right time for that organization, has said rightfully that the way to reduce poverty in Memphis is to grow the middle class. As we pointed out seven years, Memphis’s middle class hollowed out.  What had […]

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by (RSS) Economic Development, Taxation | December 18th, 2014 12:49am CST | Comments Off on Getting Off Auto-PILOT With Tax Freezes

                We write regularly about how the tax holiday program for corporations in Memphis and Shelby County is broken and how, despite our largesse in doling out approximately $80 million in tax waivers a year, our economic trend lines are still going decidedly in the wrong direction. We […]

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by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Economic Development | December 17th, 2014 12:06am CST | 2 Comments

The following are two articles from the Chicago Policy Review (Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago).  The first article disrupts the myth that tax breaks result in businesses growing the economy, concluding that tax breaks do not increase economic development, lower unemployment, and income equality.  The second interviews City of Memphis […]

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              Every time a PILOT is approved, it gives away property taxes that would otherwise go to schools. That’s because almost 60% of the Shelby County property tax rate is allocated for education.  Although only three-fourths of county property taxes can be waived in a PILOT, that still means […]

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by (RSS) Uncategorized | December 10th, 2014 12:01am CST | 5 Comments

              For the second time in little more than a year, Shelby County Government is taking action with the Tennessee Legislature to undermine a long-held policy that recognized the importance of protecting the economic heart of the region – Memphis. Previously, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell abandoned county government’s […]

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                    Listening to City Council discussions about more money for Memphis Police Department, we wonder if there’s an answer to the question: When exactly is enough enough? Meanwhile, while a Memphis City Council committee was cutting funding last week for Memphis Gundown, we wondered: Why not […]

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by (RSS) Poverty | December 4th, 2014 11:02am CST | Comments Off on High Poverty Census Tracts in Memphis Almost Double: Worry About That, Not Gentrification, Report Says

It’s concentrated poverty, not gentrification, that cities like Memphis should be worrying about, according to Joe Cortright in another of his groundbreaking reports. High Poverty Census Tracts in Memphis almost doubled from 1970 to 2010 – from 42 to 78. These are census tracts with poverty rates of more than 30%.  And yet, the population […]

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              The protest in Memphis following the grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, was not one of Memphis’s finest hours. It wasn’t the protesters that created the negativity.  Rather, it was the hysteria that surrounded the protest by many in the community whose reactions reminded us how close to […]

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          In our first post, we began our list of 10 things that made us who we are today. In that post, we addressed: * Shelby County Encourages Middle Income Families to Leave Memphis * No Commitment to Planning * Ignoring the Need for Equity In the second post, we added […]

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