• Shelby County commissioners working to hold companies accountable after tire redemption program

    By: Kirstin Garriss

    Updated:

    SHELBY CO., Tenn. - It’s been three months and there’s still a mountain of tires sitting on a lot in South Memphis.

    Refurban Memphis, LLC, the group partnering with the city and county for its tire redemption program, still owes more than $40,000 in back taxes.

    RELATED: FOX13 Investigates: Refurban awarded state grant despite owing city and county taxes

    During a committee meeting Wednesday, county voted to rescind its initial resolution awarding Refurban $15,000 for a state grant.

    Now commissioners are working on a new policy to hold companies like Refurban who are in tax trouble more accountable.

    “Before we give out tax pay dollars we need to be very sure we’ve giving it to a company that is legitimately,” said Shelby County Commissioner Mick Wright. 


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    After growing public outcry about the mishap with Refurban’s tax trouble, = Wright said he wants a new policy that would prohibit companies from receiving county grants if they haven’t paid their taxes. 

    He said if a company has delinquent taxes, it must set up a payment plan with the trustee’s office first.

    “We know taxes are too high so maybe if that’s the problem and people are having a problem paying their taxes, maybe we should cut taxes. But other than that everyone should be held to that same standard,” said Wright.

    But Commissioner Eddie Jones said this proposal is too broad and may negatively affect other procedures that are working.

    “It has to be all-inclusive and there are so many different variables inside government with nonprofits, contracts, and you gotta thing about all the other departments that do those things,” said Jones. 

    A city spokesperson told FOX13 it’s still waiting to get permission from the property owners SSS to start the removal process which may cost as much as $30,000 over budget. 

    At this point, the county hasn’t contributed any funds toward the removal process. 

    “Those tires got there by way of the county and the city and both governmental entities understand that,” said Jones. 

    Commissioners will continue discussing this new policy on April 24.

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