Beacon Center: Nashville "Ground Zero" for corporate handouts in Tennessee
NASHVILLE, Tenn.--The Beacon Center of Tennessee has launched a new website aimed at calling out corporate handouts in the state of Tennessee and when it comes to handouts, Beacon spokesman Mark Cunningham says Nashville is "the worst."
Taking data from the national policy resource center Good Jobs First and media reports, the Beacon Center says since 2005, the Volunteer State has spent $3 Billion on "corporate welfare" via tax credits and handouts to over 470 different companies. "Nashville has given out the most money and was the worst in the state. It is kind of Ground Zero for handouts. We're basically paying so more businesses can move here," says Cunningham.
Since 2005, the report states Nashville has spent $887.17 million in handouts from taxpayer money, with Chattanooga coming in second with $862.5 million, followed by Clarksville with $665.31 million rounding out the top three cities in the state. The companies receiving the largest "corporate handouts" since 2005 in Nashville include Nissan with $197 million, the Omni Hotel with $157 million, and the Hospital Corporation of America, which the report states has received a total of over $134 million in training reimbursements, tax incentives, subsidies and property tax abatement.
The hit show "Nashville" is also included, with a reported total of $45 million in subsidies. The film industry has received $14.5 million from Tennessee tax payers this year alone according to the report.
Cunningham says Beacon Center, like most residents, is all for bringing business to the state but the goal of the website is to "get rid of subsidies in 2-3 years." For now, the website is an educational effort dedicated to "pointing out where these handouts are happening," Cunningham says.
Visitors to the site can sign up for emails that will keep them updated with new information on the effort by the Beacon Center.