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VOL. 132 | NO. 27 | Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Dries

Bill Dries

Last Word: Council Day, Strickland on Immigration and Super Bowl Ad Review

By Bill Dries

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Just when the Shelby County Commission seems to settle into a rhythm of short, concise meetings, along comes a relatively smallish grant for a free condom distribution program locally. And the commission chambers are packed.

Actually, this was going to happen in a month or two anyway once we got into the budget season. The commission approved the Planned Parenthood grant on a party-line vote after delaying a vote on the grant in January and facing some legal opinions from Nashville that said the commission had to approve it.

The developers of the Downtown hotel on the northwest corner of Madison and B.B King have amended their plans to include a nine-story building that will mean demolition of part but not all of the two-story building on the corner. Wessman Holdings is about to start work on a second hotel project in South Main.

Meanwhile the busy council day Tuesday at City Hall also includes round two of the city council’s Beale Street discussion and proposed changes to the city’s impasse procedure ahead of budget season in Civic Center Plaza – a time when budget books blossom and division directors move from line item to line item in their particular budget pollinating them with reprogrammable funds, but only when appropriate.

A recap of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland on BTH focusing on his comments about immigration status and the MPD as well as the Gateway project's eastern swing – its role in connecting various pockets of redevelopment in the city so far. As usual, you can watch the full show and past shows on our video page, which is on this very website.

You’ve seen the game. You’ve seen the halftime show and you’ve seen the ads. As is our tradition, Lori Turner-Wilson of RedRover Marketing reviews which ones were the best of the lot and got their message across the most effectively and which missed the uprights.

This is interesting reading for more than just the marketing side of this. We are in a very sensitive place right now where everything seems to go back to the results of the presidential election. Even if it’s not about that, we sometimes take it as that. I’ve found myself wondering about that in my postings. Many of the Super Bowl ads that had the most buzz seemed to be about the election and what has happened in the three short months since then -- or were they.

In the Tennessee Legislature:

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam says the state is being sued by online retailers for requiring them to collect and turn over state sales taxes on items bought by Tennesseans online or by catalog.

Democratic state Representative Raumesh Akbari of Memphis is back with a bill to cut the state’s expungement fees from $450 per person to $180. We reported on her attempt last year first to do away with the fee that the state requires in order for someone convicted of a nonviolent crime who hasn’t been arrested in five years to have their criminal record wiped clean. She later proposed a reduction in the fee and that didn’t fare any better in terms of the votes to pass.

The $450 fee is divided up among several local and state government agencies as different revenue streams – hence the opposition.

The proposal our Nashville correspondent Sam Stockard reviewed Monday would leave the $130 part of the fee that goes to district attorneys general across the state. Those are the offices that conduct the background investigation to determine if someone warrants the expungement. It also leaves in place the $50 fee for the Tennessee Bureau of Investitgation.

Back to Haslam, he has problems with a bill in Nashville that would put the words “alien” and “non U.S. citizen” on state IDs.

And Republican state Senator Dolores Gresham of Somerville has filed to bill that would exempt churches from having to report campaign or political spending on “public or private morality.”

In our Accounting Emphasis:

Dixon Hughes Goodman expands in Memphis as there is increased awareness of federal regulatory reform and much debate about what stays on the books and what goes with the Trump administration.

The daughter of a math teacher discovers her childhood plan to become a nurse isn’t really what she wants to do and finds her direction in numbers. Kelly Summons Crow interned as a Christian Brothers University student at Reynolds, Bone & Griesbeck PLC and is now a tax manager there.

Speaking of CBU and the teaching side of the equation – see what I did there – CBU offering a forensic accounting program as well as one in information technology security and information technology audits. “With all of the fraud we have today, auditors are required now to really look at and think about data,” Jennifer Weske of CBU tells us.

New numbers from the Feds on the passenger count at Memphis International Airport confirm the airport’s transition to an airport that people come to and go from instead of an airport they walk through from one flight to a connecting flight.

A clawback in Chattanooga involving the General Electric plant there. GE is repaying Chattanooga and Hamilton County $6 million after GE closed their manufacturing plant there. The 2008 PILOT was with the French company that GE bought the plant from a year ago and then shut it down.

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RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 78 78 13,921
MORTGAGES 93 93 16,098
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 5 5 2,207
BUILDING PERMITS 242 242 28,995
BANKRUPTCIES 59 59 8,985
BUSINESS LICENSES 29 29 4,730
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 37 37 5,570
MARRIAGE LICENSES 37 37 3,019

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