Tennessee officials will reportedly supply the private company Oracle with more than $100 million in incentives.
This according to The Nashville Business Journal, which reported the news Friday.
“Oracle will benefit from more than $100 million of state-level incentives and related spending for its record setting tech campus on the Cumberland River’s East Bank waterfront,” the publication reported.
“Bob Rolfe, commissioner of the state Department of Economic and Community Development (ECD), confirmed in an interview that the state’s investment will exceed the $100 million mark.”
The incentives, The Nashville Business Journal went on to say, include two highway underpasses that will connect to Oracle’s waterfront campus. Another incentive is one of the largest job grants in state history.
MarketWatch reported last month that Oracle intends to deliver 8,500 jobs and invest $1.2 billion in Nashville.
The Tennessee Star reported in January that Metro Nashville officials evaluated whether to spend $13.8 million in new infrastructure costs to allow Oracle to set up shop in Davidson County.
Metro Nashville At-Large Council Member Steve Glover said at the time that “the money basically was already committed.”
“The governor and the state are dumping a lot of [state] money in it. It will create more jobs,” Glover said at the time.
“Believe me, with the mess that we’re in financially we come out ahead on it. But I don’t understand why we are debating it so hard because we basically had the money that we have already approved. The basics were already done.”
ECD officials said at the time that they had not provided Oracle with any state incentives.
According to its Facebook page, Oracle is a cloud technology company that provides computing infrastructure and software.
The Nashville-based News Channel 5 reported last week that members of the Metro Nashville Council had approved the agreement, “the largest economic development deal in Tennessee’s history.” The vote, the station reported, was unanimous.
“Metro will reimburse Oracle half of the property tax revenue they generate over the next 25 years, or until the company’s $175 million investment is paid off. The other half of the new property tax base would benefit the city’s general operating fund,” the station reported.
“Council Member Zulfat Suara added an amendment to the resolution that would use generated tax revenue for affordable housing initiatives.”
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
5 Thoughts to “Tennessee Officials to Give Oracle More Than $100 Million in Incentives to Set Up Shop in Nashville”
The taxpayers should skeptical of this deal, will there be any accountability for the promised jobs? Why not get government off the backs of small businesses the real job creators and see what happens.
This is exactly the opposite the kind of business that Nashville should want to attract! The fact is that Oracle doesn’t “make” anything, at least anything that requires a large infrastructure that is difficult to pick up and move. They picked up once and moved, they can and will do it again! As soon as they get a “sweeter” deal, they will be off to the next honey hole.
I have to laugh when I read things like “…Oracle intends to deliver 8,500 jobs…” Do we really think that they are going to hire people from here in downtown Nashville? Of course not! This is just a case of Tennessee citizens picking up the moving expenses for all of the overpaid techies from silicone valley!
And that amendment about “affordable housing” was a joke! It’s just another way for leftist politicians to funnel money off to their crony’s!
And turn a red state blue.
Yes, Oracle is a good company (or so says ‘conventional wisdom’)—the kind of company that almost any State would want to come to its jurisdiction and establish a manufacturing plant. There are, of course, serious pros and cons with a ‘big tech’ company coming to a State. All kinds of issues that should be seriously considered, including the social issues (i.e., ‘big tech’ is now located in the States of the West Coast of our country—look what this industry has done / has tried to do, politically, in those States). There is that old adage, “Not all that glitters is gold.”
But separate and distinct from the issue of whether our State should actively recruit a ‘big tech’ company like Oracle to come to Tennessee as aforesaid, is the issue of the financial incentives now apparently being offered to / given to Oracle by the State of Tennessee, and some of its sub-component local governmental organizations, to induce it to come.
So, my question is this: Are the massive taxpayer furnished financial incentives which are referred to in this article, constitutional under the Tennessee Constitution? There is the current provision of Article II, Legislative Department, Section 31, which reads,
“The credit of this state shall not be hereafter loaned or given to or in aid of any person, association, company, corporation or municipality; nor shall the state become the owner in whole or in part of any bank or a stockholder with others in any association, company, corporation or municipality.”
Oracle is probably among the wealthiest of companies in our country. Why do we continue to do things like this when we know that once it is here it will then try to tell us how to ‘run’ our State. Look at the recent issues in such matters that have occurred in the State of Georgia, for example. If it makes good business sense for Oracle to come to Tennessee, then Oracle is certainly wealthy enough to finance the construction of its own manufacturing plant here.
Furthermore, it looks to me like the left-wingers in Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County just want the State to help finance the influx of still more thousands of left-wingers to come into our State to help turn it ‘blue’ as quickly as possible. Sometimes I think that the Dems really are ‘smarter’ than we are.
I expect this State action to be vigorously litigated in the Tennessee courts
John Bumpus – Thank you for an excellent and thoughtful comment. It would seem on the surface that Oracle or any other such beneficiary of state and local financial incentives is simply putting the burden on the back of existing Tennessee taxpayers. I would for us public to have an opportunity to vote on such matters. I sure as heck would not vote to give a liberal operation like Oracle my money so that they can come with their failed political agenda.
Secondly, where are these new imports going to live? A large influx will surely drive up the cost of housing at a time when prices are already through the roof. Of course the mayor will likely whine more and more about there being no affordable housing and demand that more tax dollars be dumped into building more instant slums.