Friday, February 8, 2019

Council votes $15.2 million corporate welfare for Amazon

At Tuesday's February 5th  council meeting the Council voted to approve spending $15.2 million for road, sewer and other work around Nashville Yards which is a new development being build on the site of the old Southern Baptist downtown headquarters. This development will be home to the Amazon hub planned for Nashville.  Amazon, as almost everyone knows, is one of the wealthiest companies in the world.

Usually when a developer builds a piece of property they are responsible for infrastructure improvements. Weather a residential subdivision or an office park, normally the developer must build the roads and sewers and when the construction is complete, give the the infrastructure to the city.  This $15.2 million giveaway is the kind of corporate welfare to which I object.  This type giveaway is why the city of Nashville is in a financial crisis despite experiencing massive growth.

The measure passed by a  vote of 28-3.  The three "no" votes were At-large Councilman John Cooper, Councilman Steve Glover, and Councilwomen Angie Henderson.

Cooper said of the proposal,  "Once again, we are using taxpayer money to subsidize the wealthiest, and once again we don't need to. We are handing subsidies out due to habit." Angie Dickerson was also vocally critical of the deal and called it ""cronyism" and denounced "special deals" for favored developers.

To read The Tennessean's coverage of the issue follow this link.

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