Crisis Is Real

To the Editor:

I am writing in response to all the hype regarding the proposed state income tax (Viewpoint, June 20th issue). I am extremely concerned about how a "no new revenue" plan will affect us here in Shelby County. The county school board is asking for more money to fund much-needed new schools. Without tax dollars, how will this be possible? Also, as a student at two local colleges, I am tired of having to pay higher tuition each year. My University of Memphis tuition will be going up 17 percent this fall; last year it went up 15 percent. Without state dollars, I see students paying tuition fees equivalent to private universities, which many cannot afford. While I am not excited about a new income tax, I feel it is a far more responsible route for lawmakers than making awful cuts that will hurt school children, college students, and senior citizens.

The state budget crisis is real.

So real that we may have to pay higher property taxes to make up for money for schools and emergency health care that the state won't provide. In fact, Memphis and Shelby County schools may close or may never be built if the legislature can't find new revenue. Many of our local hospitals will be impacted greatly, having to cut needed programs or even close their doors.

One way or another, we have to fund these crucial services, and I would prefer to pay for them with a state income tax that I can deduct from my federal taxes.

Lawmakers should stand up and do the courageous and proper thing and support Jimmy Naifeh's tax-reform plan. It is simply the right thing to do.

William Hanley


Another "Magic Kingdom"?

To the Editor:

In 1965, Walt Disney Productions bought 28,000 acres in Central Florida (about the size of Manhattan). The "Magic Kingdom," built on approximately 200 of the 28,000 acres, opened in 1971. Later, the company built Epcot Center, Disney MGM Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom.

In 1976, I moved to Memphis and learned there were 5,300 acres of undeveloped land in the center of Shelby County called Shelby Farms. I was astonished and amazed that a city could be so fortunate to have the equivalent of six Central Parks.

I propose that a Disney development for part of Shelby Farms would be of enormous economic value to the Mid-South area. The development, which would showcase American agricultural enterprise, would be called "Disney Country of Mid-America."

I propose that the prison facility be relocated, that the city of Memphis and Shelby County become joint-venture partners, and that this partnership lease about a fourth of the property (the northwest corner) to the Disney company.

The revenues for Memphis and Shelby County would be enormous! And Disney Country of Mid-America might just become the catalyst for the cooperation between our government entities that our diverse population has long hoped for. Let's think big for a change!

J. Kenneth Pfohl


Daly Praise

To the Editor:

I want to thank Bruce VanWyngarden for his article on John Daly's Make-A-Wish golf tournament ("The Right Place At the Right Time," June 20th issue). It was funny, poignant, insightful, and spotlighted a wonderfully worthwhile event. In short, just what I want to read in the Flyer. More of the same, please.

Lewis Nordan


We're Number Five!

To the Editor:

The Transamerica Pyramid in San Francisco tops out at 853 feet, dwarfing all those pyramids on your list (Fly On the Wall, June 20th issue). I guess that makes Memphis, at best, number five. You may pass this information along to The Boston Globe, if you wish.

David Crook (a Memphis native)


The Wall Street Journal Sunday

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