(Memphis) A Shelby County commission committee is recommending the full commission pass a resolution to ask the state to strike down the city’s request for a special tax zone.
The tax zone would collect sales tax revenue from a three-square-mile area around the Mid-South Fairgrounds, from the Cooper Young Neighborhood to Overton Square, and dedicate that money to the development of the grounds.
City leaders say they want to put in a sake park, hotel, retail, restaurants, and sports complexes, but county commissioners say this take away millions of dollars they depend on for schools.
Commissioner Steve Baser says that’s not the only reason.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea for the city of Memphis to be a developer. They should be assisting development, but I don’t think the primary role should be development,” said Baser.
On Monday, the commission will decide whether or not it wants to ask the state to reject the city’s request for the tax zone.
Last week, commissioners asked the city to come to them today and make a presentation about how that fairgrounds tax zone would work, but no one showed up to make that presentation at Wednesday’s meeting.
“They aren’t engaging the county commission,” said Baser.
Right now, Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell and Memphis Mayor A C Wharton are in talks to figure out how to come to a solution over school money.
Commission Walter Bailey says he wants to see those talks trough before passing that resolution.
“The city and county administrations have pledged to work out the concerns with what happens to the school money, and consequently I think we need to give them a chance to work it out,” said Bailey.
The full commission will meet again Monday and commissioners will make the final vote on whether to ask the state to reject the tax zone or not.
Even if they approve it, the decision will ultimately be up to the state.