Up for Debate: Tax incentives for small biz

Monday, December 3, 2012 at 1:55am

What do you think of Councilman Josh Stites idea of legislation that would give small businesses greater access to tax breaks and other incentives such as those used to lure corporate expansions or relocations in Davidson County? Is it a good idea? Is it feasible?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

159 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 12/3/12 at 1:45

The "Simple Six" will have a field day from 7 to 9 AM with this one. Then they will spend the rest of day stoning YOGIMAN, who frankly does not care or give a damn.

LONER and GDIAFANTE will toss out a few welll thought out liberal comments. There will be a couple or three other attempts to make this a legitimate discussion and the day will end as they alll do with YOGI doing his last Don Quixote impression.

I on the other hand will be changing planes and traveling as I ponder the vocation of "Skipchaser". I am told that "skips" are thieves, scumbags and frauds. I think these words. are really adjectives and do not define what a "skip" is and why they are being chased.

I cannot help but think a skipchaser may be more in line with a snipehunter or woodstretcher than say a lettucepicker or garbagehauler.

In any case, I look forward to the tirades of the day. A nice Ciroc vodka martini with two Maytag bleu cheese olives will be on hand at the end of the day to accompany the comments. of the voting majority and the need for more well intended education.

This would be a great topic for the forum, "will longer school days and more school days improve the education of. the 63% of Davidson county schooll children. who are on the. freel lunch and free breakfast program?

Some may argue that it will not but it will cut down on crime during the time school is extended.

By: Ask01 on 12/3/12 at 5:08

Now for a serious comment on the subject.

Small businesses tend to be locally owned.

Allowing tax incentives for small, locally owned businesses means, in my opinion, the money actually stays in the community provided owners hire more local, full time employees, paying adequate wages for those employees to spend in other other local businesses stimulating the economy.

Additionally, their small size means the compensation gap between top and bottom wage earners is usually smaller than with larger impersonal corporations, therefore more fair.

I would rather see tax incentives used in this manner , helping locally as opposed to enriching some other community.

By: yogiman on 12/3/12 at 5:41

Small businesses are locally owned and operated, Ask01. My question is: Why are big businesses entitled to benefits but small businesses aren't? More employments, perhaps? So why can't there just be more small business entitlements for more employees. Competition will keep the prices down as well more sales.

I, for one, only buy my needs in a small locally owed business. The only time I buy in a "big" business is if I can't find it locally.

By: yogiman on 12/3/12 at 6:10

Well, you are right..., and wrong, Rasputin72. I don't give a damn about what anyone thinks of me but I do give a damn about the nation I'm leaving my children, grandchildren and heirs down the line.

And I consider all other children and grandchildren my arguers are leaving on this earth.

I consider those in this nation who so readily accept someone in the Oval Office as their President whom they have no idea who in the hell he is as a bunch of damn fools.

To refresh your memory, all I've ever asked is proof he's in that office legally; which he refuses to provide. And they accept him in office refusing to prove he's there legally? Gimme a break.

And by the way, have fun in Miami collecting your garbage. It should bring a good price so you can come back to Nashville and buy better booze. Enjoy.

By: Captain Nemo on 12/3/12 at 6:32

I don't see why not. Small business as a collective hires as many people and gives to the community as much as any big .

By: Captain Nemo on 12/3/12 at 6:34

How was your Mega Bus ride home old boy?

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 7:30

Good morning, Nashville.

This story was also covered here:


Here is a relevant snippet

Under Mayor Karl Dean’s administration, with the support of the council, tax breaks have become a more prominent feature of the city’s economic development efforts. Since Dean took office in 2007, the city has entered into 12 such arrangements with businesses, offering over $120 million in incentives (not including the HCA deal, which had not been finalized as of this writing).

The HCA give-away scheme calls for forgoing another 66 million in tax revenues from HCA over a 20-year period. Adding the 120 million already given away to the proposed gift of 66 million to HCA yields a whopping 186 million in "incentives" that Mayor Dean will have given to his cronies in big business over the five-year period that he has been in office.

Every time Hizzoner and the Metro Meatheads give big business a free gift, the people of Metro have to come up with extra cash to make up the shortfall. There is no free lunch....you little folks are going to pay for the Frist family's, taxpayer-funded, banquet feast.

If Dean isn't getting kickbacks from his cronies on this, I'd be very surprised.

Extending the tax-giveaway program to "small business" sounds like a better idea than subsidizing fabulously wealthy outfits like HCA. But even if the tax breaks go to more deserving enterprises, the shortfall will be made up for by hosing the regular taxpaying public.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 7:43

I agree that small businesses should also be given incentives. I also agree that the HCA deal has more to do with cronieism than anything else.

By: yogiman on 12/3/12 at 7:46

One point, Loner. Don't make an accusation without any evidence. Don't accuse a Tennessee Mayor for being a crook without proof. That's like accepting a man to be your president without knowledge he's eligible and don't care.

But, let's face it, a company goes into business with the thought of making a profit unless its a welfare site, so why go into business unless you just want to give your kids a job.

But if you want to make money, you want to make all the you can while in business, so why not accept any "benefits" a government will offer to open in their area?

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 7:48

Tax incentives make sense, if one is a beneficiary of the sweetheart deal.

The idea that the ends justify the means is often used to promote these rip-offs...usually, the argument goes like this: corporate tax revenue will be lost in the deal, but the offsetting rewards are job creation; and with those jobs, comes income tax revenues...but in a state without a personal income tax, that argument fails to make a lot of sense.

Once the period of tax-exemption expires, these outfits usually pull up stakes and dump their terminated work-fprce onto the unemployment rolls...often, they leave an empty, sometimes contaminated site behind...a clean-up job for the suckers who agreed to the sweetheart deal.

By the time these sweetheart deals expire, Mayor Dean and the Council will be out of office, collecting their generous pensions and benefits...the next generation gets stuck with the clean-up and the aftermath.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 7:52

We learned that with Dell.

By: gdiafante on 12/3/12 at 7:52

Why not just revamp the code for small business instead of constantly having to offer these "incentives"?

Yogi, have you read the law yet? Never mind, rhetorical.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 7:55

Refresh my memory, Bn, on the Dell fiasco.

By: yogiman on 12/3/12 at 7:56

I'm curious, Rasputin72,

Do you fly back and force to Florida because you like being "felt" at the airport? Are they girls or boys feeling you?

Heck, I quit liking to be felt year s ago. I'd buy me a Piper Cub and fly myself back and forth.

Set up a landing strip on my farm and not have to wait when I decided to go.

By: bfra on 12/3/12 at 7:58


By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 7:58

Offering incentives is called, "choosing winners & losers", when the Democrats do it...but when the Tea-baggin GOP does it, they call it, "economic development".

Politics is little more than the art of using & abusing euphemisms.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 8:01


Here's the history of the deal, Loner.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 8:02


By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 8:06

Thanks, Bn, I went to that Dell story link...gave it the speed-read treatment....the outlook in 1999 was extremely rosy...but, I suspect that there was trouble in paradise, no?

What happened to all the rosy predictions about Dell? It was sold as the best deal ever...did she go bust?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 8:07

I believe they ended up laying people off and it ended up not being nearly as rosy of a deal as predicted but they still received a windfall in tax incentives.

By: yogiman on 12/3/12 at 8:10

The Dell fiasco is like the fiascoes we had here In Carthage, Loner. We used to have an industrial park with plenty of good jobs locally but they are all gone now and have been for several years.

About the only jobs Americans can get now are sales and services. Manufacturing jobs are kapoot.

So why did this happen? Give credit to politics; "our government".

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 8:11

Bn, I posted my 8:06 before reading your 8:02. Looks like the bloom was soon off the rose with respect top the Dell deal....Bredesen, the deal-maker, is long-gone, of course.

In a nutshell, can you tell me what happened with the Dell deal?

By: bfra on 12/3/12 at 8:12

Loner - I have always said Karl Dean is a republican wearing a democrat's cape to get elected.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 8:12

Loner, I forget the details but I just remember it went belly up. I can try to look it up later. :)

By: yogiman on 12/3/12 at 8:18

What law are you "talking about", gdiafante? I read any law I need for knowledge of what I'm arguing about. I start off with the Constitution with the thought to see if it's in the Constitution.

How about you, have you replaced your Sears-Roebuck catalog?

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 8:20

Dean is a Tea-bagger, regardless of his official party membership status....he shares core values with the baggers, ergo he's a bagger, IMO.

I got the general gist of the Dell deal, Bn...I can Google more, if need be...thanks for bringing that example up for discussion....it's relevant.

I lost my love for Dell when they fired their spokesman because somebody ratted on him for smoking pot....that move revealed the perfidious corporate soul of Dell.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 8:28

I gotta admit, my "tower" is a refurbished Dell....my buddy, Tony, owner of Brockport Computer, gave me a great deal on the de-fragged & dolled-up Dell...it came with Firefox...I'm very happy with my desktop set-up...JVC flat screen multi-mode monitor...and yes, a Dell keyboard...I have a Kodak printer too....poor Kodak, too little too late?

By: govskeptic on 12/3/12 at 8:36

We already give tax breaks to every developer in town that has credibility to the
planning staff and Mayor's office. Obviously to HCA on every project they propose,
to Gaylord on every project proposed, so maybe this Council member (whoever he is)
may have a supporter or donors that wants a tax break or two. With all the non-profits
we have in this city along with the under taxed on many properties it will soon fall
on about 6 of us to carry the whole darn load. I see far too much insider politics on
this proposal.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 8:37

I agree, gov. It also aggrevates me to no end that Lifeway has that nice chunk of real estate downtown and are exempt from paying property taxes.

By: gdiafante on 12/3/12 at 8:40

You know, the law you acknowledged on Friday...do you suffer from dementia?

Dell was pretty bad. That was a time where Davidson County was getting it handed to them by Williamson...still is, really. If I were a business owner, I'd go to Cool Springs or Franklin. So, in that sense, I can see why they think they need to bribe businesses, but I still think it would be better to just create a competitive environment rather than these temporary measures.

The problem is, they can't really compete with Williamson County.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 8:42

I live in Davidson but have worked in Williamson for the better part of the last decade.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 8:50

Gov, we have found some common ground?

Liberals are equally skeptical of government; it's just that our values and priorities differ....and we look at the same data, but often draw contradictory conclusions about the who, what, when, where, how and why.

By: yogiman on 12/3/12 at 9:01

Well, gdiafante,

Unlike you, I have a legitimate excuse for for my shortage of memory. They took half of my brain out after finding a malignant cancer cell in the middle of it.

All of you better hope the hell it never happens to you unless my doctor goes back in practice.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 9:16

Yogi is admittedly brain-damaged...maybe, we should tolerate his hateful rants...he may not be able to think reasonably or coherently....those portions of the brain that control emotion may have been affected....his anger may be related to his surgery.

Sorry to hear about your medical condition, Yogi.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 9:27

Loner, you're a mensch. :)

By: yogiman on 12/3/12 at 9:34

Tell me, gdiafante,

I'm presuming you know more about why our founders put the requirement to be a natural born citizen in our Constitution to become President. I'm also sure you have an explanation how a child born to a foreign father, even in the USA, is Constitutionally eligible as a natural born citizen for that office. A dual-citizen, perhaps, but not a natural born.

Would you please explain to me how a man who refuses to identify himself, who was born to a British subject being his father is a natural born citizen of the USA?

Just consider me only having half a brain and explain it to me, please.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 9:38

Thank you, Bn...you're a good egg too.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 9:41

Mostly a scrambled one, but I try. :)

By: slacker on 12/3/12 at 9:49

IMO..another not so good idea. It sounds good.. a way to demonstrate fairness to the small business owner, struggling to meet a payroll.
But who oversees it? Who creates the criteria? Does the small business owner come before the council, hat in hand, to beg to be placed on the govt. forgiveness tax teat?
Any future local govt. tax incentive, should not be based on projections, but should be results oriented, based on maybe 3 year proven tax blocs.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 9:51

Yogi, once again, it's simple, if Obama or anyone else was born on US soil, then they are a natural born US citizen, regardless of the citizenship of their parents....such persons are sometimes called, "anchor babies", because the child is a US citizen, so the foreign-born parents have a better chance of being able to stay in the US w/o deportation.

Children of parents who are both foreigners, in the US on temporary visas, or as part of a military or diplomatic mission, may be exempted from this general rule...but that would not apply to BHO anyway, his mother was a full US citizen and never renounced her citizenship.

Obama was born in Hawaii, a US state; therefore, he is a US citizen and he was/is eligible to run for and hold the POTUS job.

BTW, thousands of people hold dual citizenship, technically, many could run for the POTUS job...how would that grab you?

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 9:57

Yogi, if there was anything to this birther stuff, Obama's enemies would have proved their allegations by now....Trump, for example, must have spent a small fortune trying to prove the birther claims....the Republican Party must have spent considerable time, money and energy into investigating the birther claims...they came up with squat....same goes for the Israel lobby, if they could nail Obama on the birther issue, they would have done so long ago.

Give it up, Yogi....the best & brightest have tried to take down BHO with the birther crap....they failed miserably...admit it and get on with your life, man....don't let it bug you, so much.

By: slacker on 12/3/12 at 9:59

Yogi.. you're right, you win. You don't have to post about the usurper anymore.
But you should go back to your Barber, and demand that your money be returned for the botched brain repair job.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 10:00

As much as Hilary wanted the job she would have nailed him on it during the primaries back in 2008.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 10:01

Slack enters the forum with cogent and coherent commentary on the topic of the day....that's great; but I prefer the verbal towel-snapping...the one-liners that the Slack One is noted for....but I agree, who would pick the winners and the losers in the small business microcosm? Sounds ripe for corruption in a city that has three taxicab companies....all owned by the same guy....know what I mean?

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 10:07

Bn is right, the Clinton's probably checked out the birther claims too... and found them to be groundless GOP gardyloo.

John McCain certainly must have checked out all the birther BS...he found nothing...but he still stalks the black man who beat him in 2008....McCain is on a blood hunt.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 12/3/12 at 10:09

Loner, you had to bring up the taxi business - lol! I have never lived in a place that runs the taxi service like they do here. Do you know there is a city ordinance against hailing a cab? You're not allowed to - you have to CALL them. Unbelievable!

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 10:11

Ben Dover must be busy hammering away at his keyboard this morning...he's going to rebut Mike Burch.....or so he hopes....I hope that the NCP publishes Ben's reply to Mike....it should be entertaining.

By: slacker on 12/3/12 at 10:13

nazi, that can be explained..its a gesture of respect for the cabbie, a formal dignified, request for service. Cabbie's have feelings too.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 10:18

Competition is a good thing.

When one man is anointed as Emperor of the Taxis, he gets to set the rules, Bn....he becomes a Dispatch Despot....a Taxicab Tyrant.....the Commandant of Cabs. Once a monopoly is established, the quality of service goes down and the prices go up, it's human nature.

By: Loner on 12/3/12 at 10:22

When one calls a Nashville cab, by way of telephone, is one required to use the phrase, "Pretty Please" when requesting service?

Are gratuities factored into the fare, or are they requisite extras?

Do the cabs reek of Grey Poupon?