Pork Report: Beacon Center blasts Nashville for ‘giving away millions’ to Amazon and NFL Draft

Posted at 9:11 AM, Dec 11, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-11 21:11:50-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Nashville may have landed an Amazon hub and the 2019 NFL Draft but that also got them a spot on The Beacon Center of Tennessee's annual Pork Report.

This year, the conservative think tank highlighted 25 examples of “government waste, fraud, and abuse.” The Beacon Center cited Nashville for “giving away millions of dollars to Amazon and the NFL draft.”

The Beacon Center also allows Tennesseans to vote on their choice for the “Pork of the Year award.” This year, voters selected the $14.5 million taxpayer-funded upgrade to the Richard Siegel Soccer Complex in Murfreesboro as the winner. According to the Beacon Center, the upgrades came at the same time city officials raised property taxes by 36%.

“The city is already losing $150,000 a year on the complex and even by the city's almost certainly inflated projections, it will take 127 years to pay off the debt,” according to a release.

Here’s a look at the other finalists:

  • “$700,000 in federal and state taxpayer money was spent to build a visitor center at Reelfoot Lake, only to ultimately be torn down because it didn’t meet earthquake requirements.”
  • “$1.5 million the city of Nashville was forced to withdraw directly from the school district's budget - without warning - to cover the cost of the TIF program, which gives tax dollars to developers in the city.”
  • “Graceland, one of the most notable landmarks in the city of Memphis, threatened to “move” if Memphis didn’t give it $100 million in tax incentives.”

Related stories: