Monday, March 29, 2010

Tennessee's "Jock Tax"

Posted By on Mon, Mar 29, 2010 at 2:33 PM

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So Tennessee taxes visiting professional athletes. Who knew?

The Detroit News reported last week that Brian Rafalski, a member of the Detroit Red Wings hockey team, complained about the jock tax while playing against the Nashville Predators.

The little-publicized tax passed the legislature in 2009. A total of 18 states tax the income of visiting pro athletes. Tennessee does not have a general state income tax.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Is It Boss Crump's Fault?

Posted By on Fri, Mar 26, 2010 at 12:02 PM

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Fact or urban legend? A Memphis political figure dead and in his grave for 56 years is responsible for bloated expenditures in the current city budget for fire stations.

The political figure is Edward Hull "Boss" Crump, a Memphis mayor, congressman, and political kingmaker in the first half of the 20th century who died in 1954. In the last month or so, three people that I consider well-informed and responsible types have suggested that I look into the fire department, which has 57 stations and accounts for 25 percent of the operating budget. Moreover, they suggested that it all goes back to Crump's insurance company, which was one of the biggest in the South in its day.

So I asked Crump scholar G. Wayne Dowdy, archivist at the Memphis Public Library and author of "Mayor Crump Don't Like It: Machine Politics in Memphis."

Continue reading »

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fairgrounds Gets Quick Action

Posted By on Tue, Mar 23, 2010 at 5:31 PM

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The Memphis City Council voted Tuesday to demolish an old building at the Mid-South Fairgrounds and design a green pathway as a grand entrance to Liberty Bowl Memorial Stadium from East Parkway.

The Public Green Space Project, as it is called, will cost about $10 million to design and build and will be completed in two stages. The first stage is scheduled to be finished by September, and the second stage a year later. It consists of 15 acres of "irrigated turf grass" suitable for tailgating on game days and general use on other days. A rendering of the project shows a fountain in the middle of it.

The council unanimously approved the project. The cost of the design is $606,210. Former City Council member Tom Marshall's architectural firm will design the Green Space Project. Funds for the $4.75 million first-phase of construction would be redirected from two maintenance building projects, Liberty Bowl locker room improvements that are being put off, and $255,000 in federal funds. The council must still approve that expenditure.

The demolition of some of the former Mid-South Fair buildings will create more parking, bringing the total number of spots to 7,550, with an additional 1,800 spaces on the former Libertyland site available if needed, although that area has mature trees and is envisioned as a park and picnic area. Two old buildings will remain standing — the Pipkin and Creative Arts Building — for use during football games and for roller derby teams that currently use another building.

Continue reading »

Monday, March 22, 2010

NCAA Upholds UM Penalties

Posted By on Mon, Mar 22, 2010 at 12:02 PM

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No wins, no banners, no trophy, no revenues, no more appeals, no mercy.

Thank you Derrick Rose and John Calipari. The University of Memphis 2007-2008 basketball season is officially the biggest loser.

On Monday the NCAA Division I Infractions Appeals Committee upheld its decision to penalize the university for allowing Rose to compete while he had a fraudulent SAT score and other major and secondary violations. The report comes out in the middle of the NCAA basketball tournament and Calipari's latest quest for a championship at Kentucky.

Continue reading »

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Why It Is So Hard To Rebuild Government

Posted By on Tue, Mar 16, 2010 at 1:52 PM

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Where to begin? How about with two cities often mentioned as role models for consolidation — Louisville and Indianapolis?

The following comments on taxes, strategy, and details are from key people in those cities that I interviewed in 2000 (the year of the Louisville vote), 2005 (two years after consolidation went into effect in Louisville), and two weeks ago in Memphis (when former Indianapolis mayor Stephen Goldsmith spoke to the Metro Charter Commission).

Continue reading »

Friday, March 12, 2010

Canoeist Feared Drowned

Posted By on Fri, Mar 12, 2010 at 11:30 AM

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The search continued Friday for a man who is feared to have drowned in a canoeing accident on the Mississippi River Thursday afternoon.

Coast Guard spokesman Jason Erickson identified the missing man as Dr. Grant Somes, 62, one of two men in a canoe that spilled about a mile north of the Interstate 40 bridge on the Arkansas side near Hopewell Chute. He did not have the name of the other man who survived and swam to shore and called police.

Continue reading »

Saturday, March 6, 2010

End Car Inspection Tyranny!

Posted By on Sat, Mar 6, 2010 at 10:48 AM

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The car inspection situation has reached crisis stage. We're at the tipping point. Something must be done.

In other words, one of my cars flunked the other day for a loose emergency brake. But I have a solution.

Mayor A C Wharton should stand in the inspection station garage door, call the media, and demand an end to federal car inspection tyranny.

Continue reading »

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Former Indy Mayor on Consolidation

Posted By on Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 6:26 PM

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Stephen Goldsmith, the former mayor of Indianapolis, played it straight in his presentation to the Metropolitan Government Charter Commission Committee Thursday.

In doing so, however, he may not have given much comfort to consolidation supporters because of his comments about taxes.

Continue reading »

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