Tuesday, December 19, 2006

PILOTs flying Memphis into the ground

Property taxes are so high in Memphis that new businesses are very unlikely to locate there. So...what to do? Lower taxes for everyone? Naaaaahhh.

You authorize three different local government agencies to give lower taxes to selected businesses. This program is called PILOT, an acronym for payment-in-lieu-of-taxes. It is an open invitation to corruption by empowering local politicians to pick and choose who gets lower taxes. PILOTs also transfer the tax burden away from these new businesses to homeowners and make future hikes more likely. PILOTs are awful, terrible public policy.