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Rardy

Should Memphis/Shelby County Consolidate?

Should Memphis & Shelby County Consolidate   57 members have voted

  1. 1. Taking into account all factors...

    • Yes - all of Shelby and Memphis should consolidate
      23
    • Yes - but only consolidate Memphis and unincorporated areas of the county
      14
    • No - it will hurt property values and drive even more people out of the county
      10
    • Maybe - but it'll never happen
      9
    • Other (please explain below)
      1

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52 posts in this topic

Since Memphis residents pay nearly 4 times the property tax of most county suburbanites; since Memphians are required to pass a yearly car inspection and county residents are not; and since suburbanites use public services, demand low fees, yet contribute remarkably little to the city, would consolidation help or hurt the Memphis metro?

Merging would make Memphis the 10/11th largest city in the nation in terms of population, and would make it one of the wealthiest large cities in the south in terms of per capita income.

Take into account Louisville, Nashville, and Jacksonville's arguably successful mergers.

Let's discuss!

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Since Memphis residents pay nearly 4 times the property tax of most county suburbanites; since Memphians are required to pass a yearly car inspection and county residents are not; and since suburbanites use public services, demand low fees, yet contribute remarkably little to the city, would consolidation help or hurt the Memphis metro?

Merging would make Memphis the 10/11th largest city in the nation in terms of population, and would make it one of the wealthiest large cities in the south in terms of per capita income.

Take into account Louisville, Nashville, and Jacksonville's arguably successful mergers.

Let's discuss!

Unfortunately people use Willie Herenton as an excuse, like they had a good mayor before him. All those educated people in the county don't see that the taxes in the county are higher at 9.25 to 8.75 in the city. They will be paying lower taxes not double since the government will be consolidated. The argument is stupid. "Well I don"t want to go through car inspection." Everyone should in this country because of the ozone. That argument is stupid.

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Consolidation would definitely be a good thing. It makes no sense at any business level to have duplication of services without coordinated management. Although I don't think that it is possible to make incorporated areas such as Germantown give up their charter.

What is really terrible is that Memphians have to pay Memphis and county taxes right now for services that Memphians don't get the benefit of. We're subsidizing fancy, easy living for county residents.

But the county will never agree to any consolidation agreement until the city somehow becomes the nicer, wealthier area.

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In order for consolidation to happen, a majority of Memphians must approve it, and a majority of unannexed citizens in Shelby County must approve it in a separate vote. If other municipalities want to join in, they must also approve in a separate vote.

I think a majority of Memphians would approve, but it would never pass anywhere else in the county.

The better solution, I think, would be to sever Memphis and Shelby County. Any thoughts on that?

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What is really terrible is that Memphians have to pay Memphis and county taxes right now for services that Memphians don't get the benefit of. We're subsidizing fancy, easy living for county residents.

You've got that right! I pay over $200/month in property taxes while a comparable house anywhere outside the city limits pays $50/month. The services we receive are identical, but as a city resident, I'm stuck supporting their lifestyle while they use city resources left and right.

I'm not bitter! :D

Maybe I should've rephrased the poll: Given a charismatic mayor who can convince the county this is a good thing.... It'll never happen given our current administration, but who knows about the one that comes next...?

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There would be definate benefits and down-sides to consolidation, but I don't think it will happen anytime soon, if ever. Theoritically it would better for the city and county residents tax and services wise to have only one layer of government, but lots of folks would just not like the idea of being part of Memphis for the negative aspects they associate with becoming part of the city, some of those associations are valid, some are not.

I think Jackson and Madison County are more likely to consolidate before Memphis and Shelby County. That probably won't happen anytime soon either though.

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Are there really any downsides for Memphis citizens? We could vote to give up our charter and become unincorporated. But the city council will never go for it : They're too power hungry. We would need a slate of candidates who run on the consolidation ticket to make worth it. And of course some will try to claim that its an effort to dilute the minority vote.

I think the city should double fees on everything (including utilities and traffic tickets) , and then give 50% discounts to Memphis residents.

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Anybody for Independent city?

If it were possible I would like a new state, we are the biggest metro in Ark,Miss, and West Tenn.

But an independent city like St Louis would be better and more possible.

With 680,000 of 900,000 we ought to have the rest. If the suburbanites would just see how much easier it would be to consolidate then to continue on with this.

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Anybody for Independent city?

If it were possible I would like a new state, we are the biggest metro in Ark,Miss, and West Tenn.

But an independent city like St Louis would be better and more possible.

With 680,000 of 900,000 we ought to have the rest. If the suburbanites would just see how much easier it would be to consolidate then to continue on with this.

As cut and dry as that sounds......... City and county residents always have different cultures. Nashville always seemed to be as a whole to me. Knoxville/Knox county seems to be the same. But, other metros in the south, like Birmingham/Jeffco, are too diverse to ever have anything like that happen.

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We as a region need more collaborative-minded politicians, not power-hungry politicians lording over their respective fiefdoms eager to get into pi$$ing contests to impress their constituencies. When that emerges, not just in Memphis, but in G'town, in Collierville, even down in the Mississippi side, the region will accelerate forward. The MS side isn't relevant in a consolidated government, but it is necessary for the region to compete against other regions, and not compete within and against itself.

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I've lived both in Memphis proper and now Gtown (15 in Memphis and the last 3 Gtown). I've also worked as an architect on both city and country projects - the city is terribly inefficient and throws a lot of money away.

Regardless of what anyone thinks of Mayor Willie, the city government is too large and too inefficient. One of the biggest problems has always been the city council more so than the mayor - in my 18 years here, none of the mayors has been steller and the council is embarrassing.

In theory, the duplication of services would be removed - it in fact has been as long as I've been here with code enforcement. That has been a relative success story. But if the base problems aren't fixed (bloated government) merging the two isn't going to happen, nor in my opinion going to save money without changes in business practices (I mean how the gov. operates).

I watched city school projects absolutely throw money away on unnecessary consultants and other issues, while the county schools built them very efficiently. Having said that, the county schools weren't as nice architecturally, so there is a middle ground on quality and savings somewhere. But the money differnece was a much larger spread than it should have been.

Don't forget that the county is growing fast because people are fleeing Memphis for an uneding list of reasons including quality of schools. And it is costing the county a lot of money. The county has to give the city back 2 dollars for every dollar the county spends on construction - a very stupid formula.

Just some additional facts - I don't have a solution as I think the city has made things worse with statements from Herrington on how evil the county citizens are. That serves no purpose.

Interesting topic no less and extremely complex.

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It would take so much for city and county to merge...I wonder if it's heading in the opposite direction a la Atlanta...I know there was momentum to split Fulton County into Milton and Atlanta Counties...could this be what happens here?

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I think Memphis should take a hard look at contraction, not consolidation. The decay problems in Memphis have generally been at the edges of the city that have either been newly annexed or were/are in the annexation reserve. This goes back to Frayser in the 1960s, Whitehaven in the 1970s and Hickory Hill in the 1980s, and now there are perceptions that Cordova is on the decline. People do not want to escape the city only be annexed back into it.

So, in the name of suburban renewal and sprawl reduction, let's go the opposite direction. Memphis should spin off Frayser, Raleigh, Cordova, and Hickory Hill as separate suburbs. That means Memphis' northern/eastern boundary would be the Wolf River until it "intersects" Kirby Parkway. Memphis' eastern boundary should be Kirby Parkway south to Nonconnah Creek, back west to Hickory Hill Road, then south down to Holmes Road with a slight jog east to Mineral Wells Road all the way south to the state line.

Frayser's north/south boundaries would be the Loosahatchie and Wolf Rivers, extending east from the Mississippi River to the Illinois Central railroad. Raleigh could have the same north/south boundaries, and extend from the IC railroad east to Covington Pike/Austin Peay. This would give Bartlett room to grow slightly west and significantly south to I-40. Cordova would extend from I-40 on the north to the Wolf River on the south and west with its eastern boundary set as Houston Levee/Canada Road. Germantown would grow slightly west and south toward Nonconnah Creek. The new independent Hickory Hill would all be south of Nonconnah Creek and extend east toward a Forest Hill-Irene boundary with Collierville.

In this case, Memphis would lose population down to about 475,000 and also the significant property tax dollars of the Wolfchase and Southwind areas. However, in the long term, Memphis would grow from within as its services are not stretched all the way to Eads and people would not be on the run north, east, and south to get away from feared annexation. The residents of Downtown, Midtown, and East Memphis have made the decisions to locate well within the boundaries of Memphis and for better or worse and generally happy to be in Memphis. The people at the edges generally don't want to be in Memphis. Memphis should take a short-term loss, give them what they want, and contract the boundaries to build a smaller but stronger city.

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^ Interesting idea. I wonder how hard logisitically it would be to set up these new communities to handle the functions of independent cities effectively and successfully?

Has this ever happened anywhere else? Where a primary city actively pushed for the formation of new independent communities from within its own city limits?

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I think Memphis should take a hard look at contraction, not consolidation. The decay problems in Memphis have generally been at the edges of the city that have either been newly annexed or were/are in the annexation reserve. This goes back to Frayser in the 1960s, Whitehaven in the 1970s and Hickory Hill in the 1980s, and now there are perceptions that Cordova is on the decline. People do not want to escape the city only be annexed back into it.

So, in the name of suburban renewal and sprawl reduction, let's go the opposite direction. Memphis should spin off Frayser, Raleigh, Cordova, and Hickory Hill as separate suburbs. That means Memphis' northern/eastern boundary would be the Wolf River until it "intersects" Kirby Parkway. Memphis' eastern boundary should be Kirby Parkway south to Nonconnah Creek, back west to Hickory Hill Road, then south down to Holmes Road with a slight jog east to Mineral Wells Road all the way south to the state line.

Frayser's north/south boundaries would be the Loosahatchie and Wolf Rivers, extending east from the Mississippi River to the Illinois Central railroad. Raleigh could have the same north/south boundaries, and extend from the IC railroad east to Covington Pike/Austin Peay. This would give Bartlett room to grow slightly west and significantly south to I-40. Cordova would extend from I-40 on the north to the Wolf River on the south and west with its eastern boundary set as Houston Levee/Canada Road. Germantown would grow slightly west and south toward Nonconnah Creek. The new independent Hickory Hill would all be south of Nonconnah Creek and extend east toward a Forest Hill-Irene boundary with Collierville.

In this case, Memphis would lose population down to about 475,000 and also the significant property tax dollars of the Wolfchase and Southwind areas. However, in the long term, Memphis would grow from within as its services are not stretched all the way to Eads and people would not be on the run north, east, and south to get away from feared annexation. The residents of Downtown, Midtown, and East Memphis have made the decisions to locate well within the boundaries of Memphis and for better or worse and generally happy to be in Memphis. The people at the edges generally don't want to be in Memphis. Memphis should take a short-term loss, give them what they want, and contract the boundaries to build a smaller but stronger city.

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Plus, central cities always get stuck with the tab for their suburban cities. Who do you think is paying for the bulk of downtown redevelopment? Memphians - not G'town or Collierville residents, even though they're down there as frequently as their neighbors in East Memphis or Hickory Hill. If you spin off a half-dozen more suburbs, that'll decrease the available pot even more and leave even fewer Memphians to pick up the tab.

Who clogs Poplar and Park and Walnut Grove at rush-hour? E. Memphians and G'town, Collierville, etc. Who pays to improve Poplar and Park and Walnut Grove? E. Memphians. Just one example of many.

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It is more complicated that that. People that live in the subs and work in the city do in fact end up supporting the city through shopping, entertainment, etc. Not to mention that the businesses they are driving to in the city are paying taxes in numerous ways.

I live in Gtown, but employ 11 and have my office (where I pay rent - which includes property taxes in the lease) in Memphis. And then I do business with other Memphis based companies and spend money with them.

There are a lot of gray areas. Bottom line is that Memphis leadership - top to bottom, has created this problem for years and their solution - annex and blame the evil suburbs. That is a huge business mistake in my opinion.

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Expanding on my point above, I think the Memphis city government should spin off MLGW into a private company. It's not fair for the city of Memphis to run utilities for Shelby Co and the costs of utility development/replacement would be shared equally across Memphis and Shelby Co.

Another huge cost savings would be unlinking the Memphis and Shelby Co. school system funding setup. I don't recall the exact ratio, but it seems that if Shelby wants additional school money from the state, Memphis gets about $2-2.50 for every dollar Shelby gets, regardless of whether or not it needs the money.

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It is more complicated that that. People that live in the subs and work in the city do in fact end up supporting the city through shopping, entertainment, etc. Not to mention that the businesses they are driving to in the city are paying taxes in numerous ways.

I live in Gtown, but employ 11 and have my office (where I pay rent - which includes property taxes in the lease) in Memphis. And then I do business with other Memphis based companies and spend money with them.

There are a lot of gray areas. Bottom line is that Memphis leadership - top to bottom, has created this problem for years and their solution - annex and blame the evil suburbs. That is a huge business mistake in my opinion.

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I said yes, but I don't know. I said yes because it appears to have worked for Nashville. But then again, would all the rich people have stayed in Davidson instead of Williamson if Nashville and Davidson county were still seperate?

I'll also say I don't like consolidating by force. Here in Rutherford County, there are people in the county who don't want to be in the city, but Murfreesboro is forcing them into the city.

I think if a vote is taken to show accurate representation, than the consolidation is fine. But if you force it on people, well, what happened in Cordova? People moved out and property values fell

(BTW, has that area rebounded yet? If not, it's only a matter of time before things are back to the way they were.)

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I think if a vote is taken to show accurate representation, than the consolidation is fine. But if you force it on people, well, what happened in Cordova? People moved out and property values fell

(BTW, has that area rebounded yet? If not, it's only a matter of time before things are back to the way they were.)

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Its a shame that the legislators and administration in Memphis have created the current situation. But the people who left the city are as much to blame for the current political landscape. How are we supposed to get the idiots out of office if the voters who oppose them leave the city and can no longer vote? Voting with your pocketbook or moving out of the city is not a real form of voting...

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I think Memphis should take a hard look at contraction, not consolidation. The decay problems in Memphis have generally been at the edges of the city that have either been newly annexed or were/are in the annexation reserve. This goes back to Frayser in the 1960s, Whitehaven in the 1970s and Hickory Hill in the 1980s, and now there are perceptions that Cordova is on the decline. People do not want to escape the city only be annexed back into it.

So, in the name of suburban renewal and sprawl reduction, let's go the opposite direction. Memphis should spin off Frayser, Raleigh, Cordova, and Hickory Hill as separate suburbs. That means Memphis' northern/eastern boundary would be the Wolf River until it "intersects" Kirby Parkway. Memphis' eastern boundary should be Kirby Parkway south to Nonconnah Creek, back west to Hickory Hill Road, then south down to Holmes Road with a slight jog east to Mineral Wells Road all the way south to the state line.

Frayser's north/south boundaries would be the Loosahatchie and Wolf Rivers, extending east from the Mississippi River to the Illinois Central railroad. Raleigh could have the same north/south boundaries, and extend from the IC railroad east to Covington Pike/Austin Peay. This would give Bartlett room to grow slightly west and significantly south to I-40. Cordova would extend from I-40 on the north to the Wolf River on the south and west with its eastern boundary set as Houston Levee/Canada Road. Germantown would grow slightly west and south toward Nonconnah Creek. The new independent Hickory Hill would all be south of Nonconnah Creek and extend east toward a Forest Hill-Irene boundary with Collierville.

In this case, Memphis would lose population down to about 475,000 and also the significant property tax dollars of the Wolfchase and Southwind areas. However, in the long term, Memphis would grow from within as its services are not stretched all the way to Eads and people would not be on the run north, east, and south to get away from feared annexation. The residents of Downtown, Midtown, and East Memphis have made the decisions to locate well within the boundaries of Memphis and for better or worse and generally happy to be in Memphis. The people at the edges generally don't want to be in Memphis. Memphis should take a short-term loss, give them what they want, and contract the boundaries to build a smaller but stronger city.

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Since Memphis residents pay nearly 4 times the property tax of most county suburbanites; since Memphians are required to pass a yearly car inspection and county residents are not; and since suburbanites use public services, demand low fees, yet contribute remarkably little to the city, would consolidation help or hurt the Memphis metro?

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