Memphis budget battle continues

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- City workers and retirees are still fighting mad over the council's decision to cut health benefits, even though the council passed a $2 million ‘safety net’ to help ease the pain.

In fact, workers' unions this week started targeting the city's tax break program for businesses.

Meantime, on the pension debate, the council does what all good politicians do with a hot button issue…and delayed taking up that matter again until October.


  • Fed up

    And now u idiots can pay for the OT for the Blue Flu bc you constantly attack things like public safety so you can add more tax breaks for businesses , or idiot pet projects that affect 2 %
    of this hole of a city. Money for a Beale Street Landing , and none for healthcare for city retirees? Regular folks (the SMALL ) amount left better rethink the council and this cancer of a mayor .

    • ncrdbl1

      Seems as if the simplest concepts in economics 101 go over your head. Tax breaks given to companies actually generate more tax revenue than they take. You have got to get away from your static economy mindset.

      • Rick

        I hope they do cut PILOT. I am ready to leave the midsouth and I’m sure the large corporations will be leaving soon after PILOT is scrapped.

    • John G

      Yes it seems to me that all these little pet Projects that our wonderful Super A.C. and all his Robins on the city council keep doing are killing our taxes and cutting the benefits of the people we depend on the most like, Beale Street Landing
      (A $40 million T-shirt shop) and don’t forget the $40 million that we are spending from our Sewer fees that are going to build a walkway across the Mississippi river to nowhere what has a walkway got to do with the Sewers?.This is nothing but another tax!.Like the Street light fee what they going to use that for build a Giant monument at that end of it with
      Super AC and and his Robins of their grand achievement.

  • ncrdbl1

    When Unions start [producing thousands of jobs instead of killing off job then they may get tax benefits companies get. What revenue lost by giving these companies tax break is more than made up in revenues generated by the money spent in the community by the employees of that company. Do not give the tax breaks then the companies and jobs leave the area. Just have to look at Libertyland to see the mentality of this town. City Council didn’t want to make up the operating losses produced at Libertyland so it was closed. MILLION of dollars which were spent each year in the city by tourist going to Libertyland was lost. Then the City Council had to spend MORE money on creating a summer jobs program for the city youth that normally would be working at Libertyland, than it would have spent on covering the operating loss at Libertyland. Sadly this city has a history of being penny wise and dollar foolish.

    • therealmpd

      Causing a moral crash in Public safety isn’t going to help bring businesses to Memphis either. How many companies want to set up shop in an unsafe, ignorant and impoverished area? Those companies go to third world countries in order to make profits. Please show one example of how this THEORY of yours has worked for a city our size and with our crime rate. Your defense is a concept.Our argument is reality. Our city is losing qualified officers and firefighters at an alarming rate. Constantly responding with economic theory is completely ridiculous. What theories do you have for when crime gets out of control and no qualified people want to defend this city? The benefits are the comfort zone for many of us out there defending complete strangers. I know (or knew) that regardless of what happens to me on a daily basis that my wife and child would be taken care of. Now I do not.

      • Rick

        Crime is already out of control. You are doing a poor job and you want to be rewarded for it? If you don’t like you job please move to one of the other fine cities that came here to recruit!

        If you don’t like it here ….. leave.

  • houndog

    Isn’t black leadership wonderful? If White men were still governing this city, this would not be happining. Oh the wonders of diversity.

  • Wife of a Firefighter / Paramedic

    I have a degree in economics. Economics 101 – All of the tax breaks in the world won’t make a difference to businesses if they are afraid of the crime and corruption in the city. Why should police and firefighters remain in this city when they aren’t getting the benefits they were promised? It’s wrong to take away the benefits that they were promised. They have families to support. They are going to leave. Why should they give their all? If they get injured on the job, they won’t be able to get insurance after they leave. The city chose not to put money in Social Security, so city employees don’t draw Social Security or qualify for insurance (before the age of 65) when they retire. I sure don’t see the Memphis Chamber of Commerce President and the mayor giving up their retirement or insurance to help the city. I really don’t know what you think Firefighters get paid for a living. FYI – they typically work 120 days per year or 2880 hours per year; this averages to 55 hours per week. Firefighters DO NOT get paid overtime for working the additional 15 hours per week; these are considered regular working hours. It is the law for most companies to pay time and a half for overtime. You think that firefighters just sit at the station all day and do nothing? I would like to correct you. There are many days that my husband comes in and has to sleep the all day because he worked the entire 24 hours. Yes, this fine city got all 24 hours out of him. My husband inhales dangerous chemicals, has fallen in dangerous situations and you think that he doesn’t deserve health benefits after he retires. The effects of his job will haunt him long after he leaves the fire department; he will need insurance when he retires. Yes, he did sign up to do his job, but he was also promised insurance when he hired on. He is very good at his job. If you get sick, you want him rolling up to your house. He is a great firefighter/paramedic. He is kind, compassionate and caring. There are people who abuse the 911 system. He has been cursed at and spit at by drunks. He has been shot at by criminals. He was stuck with a needle by someone who has HIV. If he contracts HIV after he retires, who takes cares of his insurance? The city says they won’t. He has witnessed child abuse. He has seen the worst in people. He doesn’t speak about these things, but I know they bother him. He gives everyone equally excellent treatment; he took an oath to provide excellent care to all. He will not call in sick with red flu because he took an oath. It’s really a shame that people like you don’t think he and other city employees deserve to get what he was promised. I dare you to walk a week in their shoes. As for the unions … this is exactly why they are needed. They are not breaking the back of this city.

  • Kay

    Wife. I agree with you, we appreciate him and others. Thanks for your service. I would not blame I them if they all .left town. Leave it, soon to be Detroit anyway.

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