Friday, July 13, 2018

We deserve to know how much corporate welfare was handed out to AllianceBernstein

The secrecy surrounding the corporate welfare deal that brought AllianceBernstein to Nashville is an outrage. The state and city of Nashville both bribed Alliance with tax dollars to get them to relocate here, yet we have no idea how much since the government is keeping that information a secret. 

It is a big deal that AllianceBernstein is moving to Nashville. The company is a major financial firm, will be bringing 1,050 jobs to Nashville, and invest $70 million. If you want Nashville to be an even bigger city then this relocation to Nashville should be a cause for celebration. 

I really do not want to see Nashville grow anymore. I think we have passed the optimum size. I would prefer we remain a mid-size city with our own identity rather than a super metropolis .  As far as I am concerned we should have pulled up the draw bridge about three to five years ago. Growth does not pay for itself.  One of the reasons our city finds itself in financial difficulty now, is that we have paid so much out in incentives that the growth is not swelling the city coffers. 

Seth Bernstein, president and CEO of AllianceBernstein, said Nashville was chosen among 30 cities due to its cost of living, affordability, and quality of life. Those are all things that will diminish with growth. The more we grow the more we will be taxed, the more housing will cost, the worst traffic will get, and the more crime we will have. Growth will not make our schools any better. Quality of life will decline.  

The way I see it, a city has to be of a certain size to have certain amenities. Dining, cultural, entertainment and shopping opportunities come with growth, but beyond that certain size, the cost of growth is not a plus but has diminishing returns and then negative returns. I know that this is a minority position. City leaders want to grow, grow, grow.  

Even if you want Nashville to become the Wall Street of the South, or the Hollywood of the South - even it you want us to be the next Los Angeles or Chicago or Atlanta, should we the taxpayers not be entitled to know how much we are paying for companies to locate here?  How can one judge that the growth is worth it, if we do not know how much we are paying for it? We are footing the bill, we should have the right to know.

How many incentives will AllianceBernstein receive? The state won't tell

 By Adam Sichko, Nashville Business Journal - There's no telling how much in incentives AllianceBernstein will receive from Tennessee taxpayers for moving its global headquarters from Wall Street to downtown Nashville.

What the state has disclosed is a $17.5 million jobs grant tied to the money manager's decision to uproot its executive team and an estimated 1,050 back-office and wealth management jobs from New York City and move to Music City. State officials won't say anything about another vital piece of the pie: tax credits that AllianceBernstein (NYSE: AB) expects to tap once it begins filling those forthcoming jobs. ... AllianceBernstein is poised to receive at least four types of tax credits. (Link)

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