When appliance giant Electrolux annouced plans to build a factory in Memphis, Tenn., it seemed like a great economic boost for the region. However, a closer investigation by reporters Daniel Connolly and Amos Maki of The Commercial Appeal reveals that the plan may cost taxpayers a lot more than it appears.
“Government officials approved a massive package of money and perks for a company that has a history of leaving communities to cut costs and has made no guarantee to stay for the long term. Officials performed minimal due diligence and signed away rights to recover most of the money if the company falls short of job-creation goals.
Though reporters for The Commercial Appeal spent months conducting interviews and reviewing public records, the full scope of the subsidies to Electrolux is unknown, for the state government and Tennessee Valley Authority refused to say exactly how much money they are giving the company. But the known subsidies alone total $188.3 million, making it the most expensive economic development project in the modern history of West Tennessee. It is likely to impact taxpayers across the state for decades to come.”