Weekly Update


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You might have seen the news this week about the Downtown Sheraton settling its lawsuit against the City of Memphis. This is noteworthy for a couple reasons.


First, the end result of this is what we all wanted—a much improved Downtown Sheraton that will be a tremendous compliment to the $200 million renovation of the Renasant Convention Center.


Second, there will eventually be more tax revenue coming to the City of Memphis. As it stands right now, the Downtown Sheraton has a 99-year low-cost lease, and the City of Memphis owns the land; therefore, the Sheraton is paying little in property taxes. Under the terms of the agreement, the City will sell the land and transfer title to the Sheraton ownership and enter into a 20 to 30-year PILOT (30 years will require state approval) and after the PILOT expires, the property would be placed back on the tax rolls.


At the end of the day, this is a win for everyone, and we’re excited to work with the Sheraton owners to make this project happen.


Governor’s Budget: While these numbers are preliminary, we do have some cause to be encouraged by the potential in this year’s State budget. The Governor proposed $100 million in one-time funding--$50 million to cities and $50 million counties to be spent in the areas of public safety, street projects, capital maintenance, utility system upgrades, and/or IT hardware upgrades.


As it stands right now, Memphis’ share is roughly $7.2 million.


In addition, Secretary of State Tre Hargett proposed $3 million—$1.5 recurring and $1.5 non-recurring funding—in library grants to be split between Memphis, Nashville, Knoxville and Chattanooga. Should this stay in the Governor’s budget, this will be the largest amount of state funding for libraries in recent history. It means more money for programming, and in turn, our libraries serving more Memphians.  


As we discussed a few weeks ago, we are still pursuing permanent, recurring funds from the State’s portion of the sales tax to make up for their elimination of the Hall Income Tax, which has reduced the City’s revenue by roughly $15 million each year.


For more information on potential state funding in the Governor’s budget, visit here.


Second Annual Trailblazer Awards: Yesterday, along with the Division of Housing and Community Development, Memphis Heritage Trail Project, we honored eight Memphis Women with a Trailblazer Award for their work in advancing Memphis’ civil and human rights.


The honorees for the event included: Chrysti Chandler, Bev Johnson, Deidre Malone, Carey Moore, Deanie Parker, Patrice Bates Thompson, Linda Steel, Miriam DeCosta-Willis, Ph.D. and the National Civil Rights Museum. 


These ladies have dedicated their lives to improving our communities, guiding our young people, fighting for justice and forging a better Memphis. We cannot thank them enough for their contribution to our city.


Go Red for Women: Today, we kicked off the Go Red for Women campaign at City Hall. For women, heart disease and stroke cause 1 in 3 deaths each year – more than all cancers combined.


That’s approximately one woman every minute!


To learn more about the signs and preventative measures, visit the American Heart Association.


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