You know, a lot of comments here focus on the city’s low population densities as playing an overwhelming factor in our annual budget crisis. No, no doubt our exceptionally low population density does play a large role as lower densities can correlate with the collection of lower property taxes and often results in the generation of lower taxes from retail and commercial activity. However, a quick check of the following cities (some thriving, some not) shows our density is nothing remarkable, especially for the south and there are cities with much higher densities than ours that are faring far worse (all numbers are residents per square mile):
Little Rock: 1665.4
Oklahoma City: 983.1
Shelby County graduates 90% of its students with A's and B's. MCS graduates 70% of its students with, shall we say, less than stellar grades. If you choose to pretend like those aren't facts, that's on you.
Your first comment was about racism in relation to the school board, and that's what I was referring to. What does that have to do with racism in jobs and promotions? Once again, you show yourself to simply be bitter and vindictive, seething with spite.
You are missing the point: the question is why are taxes in Memphis higher than the County? We need a specific answer to this, not just generic attacks about mismanagement, etc. I think, but can't say definitively, that much of it is structural because of the decades of expansion and then flight. And that is seriously damaging the entire region and we need to address it as a community rather than simply chiding Memphis. Simply de-annexing isn't going to fix it, because that will just shift the burden to the County.
It is even more urgent to fix if it really is the #1 reason that causes people to live elsewhere. This region cannot survive if we leave the core city to rot. The suburbs may be doing just fine now, but the same could have been said about Raleigh decades ago.
Get off of the school poor grades thing. IT IS A WELL ESTABLISHED FACT THAT THE TENNESSEE SCHOOL SYSTEM RANKS 47TH OUT OF 50 STATES IN PERFORMANCE. I hate to shout but you don't seem to get it in a normal tone of voice. Until you can move up the ladder, nationally, you should leave the school performance off of the table.
What good was it to have a charter, pay higher taxes when with one county-wide district, we will still be in charge!
Oh yes, about that race thing. I just can't seem to give it up. When I see good jobs that take no special skills going predominately to whites, practically all of the promotions going to whites in disproportinate numbers compared to the qualified pool of blacks, I find it hard to not bring up race. I think that you get the picture even though you don't want to acknowledge it. If you don't like race brought up in my posts, then stop making veiled racist statements!
Back to the original topic for one second: comparing Memphis to Detroit is simply lazy. There are similarities, but many of those similarities apply equally to most other cities, including cities that are much more similar to Memphis than Detroit is. Off the top of my head, St. Louis, Pittsburgh, Birmingham, Louisville, Kansas City, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Baltimore and Little Rock are all better comparator cities. They have the same problems listed in the article (public finances, sprawl, urban schools, crime, politics, etc,) but they are more like Memphis than they are Detroit. Detroit is an extreme. It is one of a very few major metro areas that has had a flat or negative population growth between 1990-2010. The Memphis metro on the other hand has had a 25% population growth since then, which is roughly the median for all metro areas.
The CITY of Memphis has been struggling with problems that every similar city is dealing with, along with some unique problems (the sprawl is worse in Memphis because of the period of major growth coinciding with the automobile age and followed shortly by desegregation). But the Memphis metro is far from the complete failure that Detroit is, and awful articles like this do a major disservice to this city by fueling the inferiority complex here.
When you have a respectable name you should ensure that you have a respectable business. How can one claim ignorance when there have been over 120 complaints in a little over a year?
Gee, those are not hard questions.
Taxes are higher because Memphis imposes its own taxes over and above the county taxes those residents pay before annexation. In some cases, the tax burden almost doubles.
People flee because they do not see any significant benefits they are going to receive for those increased taxes.
At least, that is why I fled.
But the problem is that your double taxation produced poor student grades, poor school grades, poor graduation rates, rampant truancy, unprepared graduates, no-fail policies, tenured moron teachers, gang problems, bloated central office, and an out-of-touch superintendent with a posse. Your $96 million a year contributed by Memphis never made it to the classroom; you had higher student:teacher ratios even though you had $2,000 per student more to spend. You had short-sighted me-first politicians running the show.
And you say in the next budget you will have "a truly representative board." That's what you had when you gave up the damn charter! What makes you think it will be any different? You are a piece of work. Every damn post you mention race. You are the only racist here. I'm against idiots and public-trough politicians being in charge, color be damned.
Let us all know when your Memphis taxes go down, will you?
You feel better paying an overall higher tax bill since you are not being "double taxed"?
You did realize that those extra "double tax" dollars only went to MCS schools?
Thank Martvious when you write that bigger check this year.
@Memphistenguy: Sorry, the above post was for you.
I just think all you people need to spend less time on the Internet complaining and more time doing things outside of the house.
Being simplistic again, I see.
"If the majority want consoldation, according to the Voting Rights Act, the majority will get it. That is the very reason there is a federal lawsuit pending in Judge Anderson's court on the constitutionality of having a dual vote in Shelby County in order to consolidate."
Or in other words, what the majority wants it will MAYBE get. So far, no luck.
"Whether by cooperation or through the courts, the majority in Shelby County will be able to work its will when it comes to governing."
That has not worked so far in the schools issue, has it?
"As an aside, on the saving the Jews thing prior to WWII, it is a fact that the U. S. did nothing because of the racist feelings toward Jews at the time. As a matter of fact, the U. S. has never came to the aid of any country that was not white. Libya intervention was because of oil; Syria has no oil, no intervention. Viet Nam came about because it was a proxy war against Russia, China and communism. I will not try to sugar coat it, it is what it is."
Sorry, that is just more bullshit through your racist filter. You really need to read some writing from a serious historian, and the Huffington Post is not it. Maybe you could start by Googling "isolationism" as a political construct. I would also like to know that oil connection to Libya and what we had to gain there. You must believe your hero Barack Obama would stoop low and lie to the American people, because he sure said it was to insure democracy, and was not for oil. Please tell me more about your other Democratic hero Lyndon Johnson and his decision to make Vietnam a proxy war against Russia. That is not what he said at the time. He said he was coming to the aid of the South Vietnamese, to save them from the North. But then I was there and listening and you were hiding in Germany, so perhaps you don't really remember.
BTW, didn't we go to the aid of China, Burma, and India in WW2? Not to mention all those dark folks in New Guinea. I seem to recall something or other about the Flying Tigers and General Stillwell. Am I mistaken? What do you think about the US going in to help Grenada avoid Cuban domination in 1982? What about those Flipinos? How about our intervention to help the South Koreans in 1950 when they were invaded?
Or does the OTP flexible system of racial classification deem them folks all as "whites"?
It would not have mattered what the 23 member board had done. As long as the school district was going to be administered by majority black citizens, the the munis in the suburb wanted out. You know, that 2,000 lb elephant in the room.
Yes, Martavious Jones has benn a real asset to this movement. You jest, but, I suspect that Mr. Jones has more knowledge than you. The truth of the matter, I was tired of being double taxed because of two school districts while the suburbanites walked around laughing. If for no other reason than that, it was worth surrendering the school charter, especially since we will end up in charge anyway. So, while you jest, the last laugh, so far, is on you.
Yes, things will be different for the next budget. We will have a truly representitive board, elected by the people. Some decisions will probably back and some others modified. People should also stop gloating because msds is all just speculation now. We still have no idea how it will all play. Courts have been known to do some strange things. But, either way, we will be better off. Let you people in the suburbs get doubletaxed like we were for many, many years.
Annexation is a complete red herring. By accepting as a truism that annexation = higher taxes and white flight you completely ignore the real issues: why are taxes higher after annexation and why do people flee. Until you answer these, and address the root causes, it is just shifting around the deck chairs on the Titanic.
The same with consolidation. Consolidation has its pros and cons, but the real accomplishment is setting a firm baseline understanding that this is a single, connected community. Instead of fighting for a slice of the pie, we need to focus on growing the pie for everyone in this community. But instead, we take care of our own and convince our children to leave and never come back, we balk at any proposed tax hikes no matter how little it would impact our individual bottom line or how much it would improve the community, and we sit back and point fingers at the people outside of our immediate circle as the source of all problems.
Both sets of parents (now grandparents) are along with some extended family within 4 hours drive in several directions. If not for that, it is highly unlikely we would have moved back to Memphis. In fact, our plan had been to eventually move to Nashville instead.
It's very much our fault. We deluded ourselves into thinking that Memphis had hit bottom and was on a slow but noticeable upward trajectory. We bought into the sales pitch- as young college educated professionals- that Memphis was a great place to live because here you could get involved, apply your passion and make a difference. Instead, we have become more and more aware over the over the past 5 years that Memphis (and the Mid-South in general) continues its slow decline. We have come to realize that no matter how much we give of ourselves, our talents and our time, that there is a void in the Memphis metro that is far larger than the combined efforts of this community- thus far- can fill. The number of those that can and are willing to help keeps shrinking while the numbers of residents and neighborhoods that need help keeps growing. Simply put- we were naïve.
The contrast between “here” and places such as Middle Tennessee, North Georgia, the Carolinas and North Texas becomes more stark every year. I want my children to live in a city where they have a wonderful, high quality life with the greatest number of prospects available. I want them to be able to live a fulfilling life due in part to the qualities of where they live, not in spite of those qualities. I want them to live in a place where educated, skilled and passionate people live and are relocating to , not a city where they are leaving en masse.
Now please understand, we both love Memphis. In fact, that may be the source of our issue. We love Memphis so much, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to watch this area continue the slow motion suicide it has been intent on implementing over- what- the last 15 years or so.
What if Martavius Jones hadn't been an asshat at every opportunity? But I digress. Yes, I'll grudgingly give them two cheers for slogging though a monumentally difficult task. However, hindsight tells me that if they had the chance to do it over again, they'd do it the exact same way; and we'd be exactly where we are right now. The board is made up of too many politicians and not enough people interested in the future well-being of Shelby County.
ArlingtonPop and Progressive
Both of you are trying to make this annexation discussion much more difficult than it is or should be.
First of all, there will probably be no deannexation of anywhere. Those areas that were annexed are a part of Memphis and they will still be.
The statement that I made on the majority of county residents (Memphis) will get what they lawfully and constitutionally want. That is what a democratic republic does.
If the majority want consoldation, according to the Voting Rights Act, the majority will get it. That is the very reason there is a federal lawsuit pending in Judge Anderson's court on the constitutionality of having a dual vote in Shelby County in order to consolidate. I do think that Memphis will prevail in this matter. No, the Lockport Case is not applicable here. The Lockport case was based on an urban municipality trying to force consolidation with a rural, mostly agricultural area. The two separate entities had different governmental interest, whereas the munis and the city of Memphis have the same shared governmental interest.
When, in our democratic republic, does the majority have to make concessions to the minority to exercise their constitutional rights? I see that the state did not listen to the minority when it passed the msd or gun carry or voter id laws. Why should the majority of Shelby Countians have to be any different. Whether by cooperation or through the courts, the majority in Shelby County will be able to work it's will when it comes to governing. If you, in the suburbs want cooperation and/or compromise, then it is up to you, the minority to cooperate and/or compromise.
I will guarantee to you that if Fisherville and/or Greys Creek try to incorporate or the state trys to change the annexation laws, Memphis will move quicker than a New York minute to annex those areas.
As an aside, on the saving the Jews thing prior to WWII, it is a fact that the U. S. did nothing because of the racist feelings toward Jews at the time. As a matter of fact, the U. S. has never came to the aid of any country that was not white. Libya intervention was because of oil; Syria has no oil, no intervention. Viet Nam came about because it was a proxy war against Russia, China and communism. I will not try to sugar coat it, it is what it is.
Elections are funny things. A group of committed candidates can mobilize enough people in off year elections to change the composition of a legislative body. I, for one, never bought into the paradigm put forth by pro-consolidation proponents. I grew up here and understand the people of Shelby County. With that said, it is in the long term interest of the citizens of Memphis to reconstitute it's own municipal school system.
Every municipality gets a specific amount from the County Commission based on attendance, and then each municipality does what Memphis did up until two years ago. Tax and make up the difference.
As for the budget request, it is in the best interest this year to bite the bullet this year since the suburbs and their representatives had made it clear that this is a one year shot. Our students and the other stakeholders will make a way until the separation. Also, after sitting through a few suburban board/listening meetings (Collierville was my favorite) I am fully aware of the "feelings" that motivate my "fellow citizens" feel in reference to education.
It is obvious that the common interest will never take hold here, so it is in the best interest for each municipal entity go it alone in reference to the schools. We have nothing to offer each other so let's drop the pretense.
As for closed borders, I never stated/ infered that. It's just not smart to spend where it's not in your best interest. If you listen to your fellow pro-municipal school posters, you will notice the glee that comes with statements like "keep shopping at Hobby Lobby and Bounce Zone in Bartlett. You're helping us fund our schools with the muni sales tax." Or my favorite one: I don't work, shop, eat, or play in Memphis." One doesn't need a code book to understand these sentiments. City shopping and internet shopping do have their appeal.
Granted, by bringing in 10mill a yr in revenue speaks volumes to the business model in place for 152, it comes with a high-risk component as well. Maybe its just me, but I feel when you have 3 floors, attracting 3 types of crowds|genre's, you are setting yourself up for failure somewhere down the line. I also think 152 (and other areas of Memphis too) have capitalized off of that "anything goes" culture we have in the mid-south when it comes to entertainment. 1st floor should just be for live music yes, 2nd floor needs to be defined with what type of "urban" crowd you are trying to attract(trust me, there are differences), and 3rd floor should could continue to be for VIP or maybe private events?
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