Saturday, October 24, 2015

A look at Regal: Funding the move

Regal's HQ will relocate to S. Knoxville
Here’s the city’s release on the Regal relocation – RIGHT SMACK HERE.

Not really sure what to say. You either like it or you don’t. Gov. Bill Haslam called it a “game changer” for South Knoxville.

I’m not sure I’d agree. Some 75 new jobs in exchange for more than $12 million in taxpayer monies is like $160K in folding coin per job.

That doesn’t exactly scream “bargain” to me. (I mean, in theory, those spaces would have been filled whether Regal moved or not. Right? But I digress.)

And whatever.

Maybe it is.

If the overall riverfront project is in danger and this is the only way to save it – and I’m not saying it is in trouble – then the Regal move would be significant. Maybe that’s the cash infusion that’s needed to keep it moving along. Or not.

Still, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want a pile of rubble sitting on the riverfront for the next 20 years. So this could be one of those instances where ya just hold your nose and vote for it. Or not.

MORE: Regal headquarters moving to South Knoxville waterfront

I think in five, six or so years – provided the entire development is complete – no one will give much thought to the move or how much was spent.

Now, here’s where they’ll get the money to fund it:

The county’s $1.5 million will come from end-of-the-year surplus.

The state’s $1.5 million will come from “I’m not sure where.” (No, seriously, I don’t know. Heh. I suspect there’s some type of economic development account or something.)

The city’s $9 million will come from: existing funds ($1.1 million); bonus/unexpected Hall tax revenues ($3.6 million); end-of-the-year surplus ($600,000); and reserves ($3.7 million).

The city actually has a pretty healthy reserve tank by the way.

And that's good.

The last time the city needed to come up with $10 million (ahem, pensions) it raised taxes. Now, that’s not going to happen for this project. It’s a one-time deal.

But, if taxes are raised maybe in a year or two? Oh man.

No comments: