AmSurg and Oberto got their tax incentives, but in the future will things change?
Councilman Josh Stites, a consistent opponent of Metro’s tax incentive packages, offered amendments that would have required the companies to reach job-creation benchmarks in order to receive the full tax break. They were defeated, but the idea of including more accountability in similar deals going forward found support.
Councilmen Jason Holleman and Phil Claiborne each told the council that they supported Stites’ idea, but would not vote for it this time because they were hesitant to change the deals at the last minute. They each expressed a hope that such provisions would be considered by Mayor Karl Dean’s administration in the future.
“As we go forward, we’ll listen to this, and we’ll build into it,” said Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling. “The process is the process, and you can’t really negotiate at the last minute. And so I think if this had started when the bill was first introduced and some of the concerns were voiced better, maybe we could have made some of these arrangements. But going forward, we heard it and we’re going to do better. We always try to improve.”