• Memphis lawmaker creating bill to hold corporations accountable for incentives

    By: Kirstin Garriss


    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A Memphis lawmaker is working on bill that would hold corporations more accountable when they receive state and local incentives after Electrolux announced its closure last week.

    The Swedish appliance company received $137 million in incentives.

    RELATED: Job market could benefit Electrolux workers in Memphis, expert says

    Representative G.A. Hardaway is working on legislation that would create an economic development formula for incentives which would be shared with the community.

    “You’ll be able to look at an index of grade some metrics you can say well that’s 100, that’s a 90 or that’s an F and give it to the public so they can look at it and pull it apart and ask why is this 100, why is this one 70,” said Hardaway.

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    Currently, when a company receives a PILOT (payment in lieu of payment tax breaks) in Memphis, it has to submit annual performance reports to EDGE. 

    Hardaway’s proposal would require monthly reporting directly to the state and a company would be penalized if it’s not following through on its investments and job growth.

    “Give me my money back. Give me my money back in terms of what was the value of then versus now,” said Hardaway. “It’s not just the dollars, I want the value that was missed.”

    If a company closes or leaves the state, another part of provision would companies to pay back the incentives and the state or local government would use a portion of the refund to benefit the displaced employees.

    “Should Electrolux be responsible for retraining these folks for putting them in a position to go into another industry with another corporation? I say yes,” he said.

    Hardaway is also meeting with various think tanks across the city and county to get their input about what provisions should be included in this legislation.

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