Friday, December 12, 2008

May Family Might Be Among "Tycoons" Bleeding Us Dry

I missed this story from last week's Scene regarding wealthy developers who have seized upon a tax loophole to bilk $45 million out of state coffers with the blessing of both Democrats and Republicans:
Revenue Department surveys show 2,700 businesses are structured as "family owned non-corporate entities" to take advantage, escaping corporate taxes on roughly $5 billion in property and $500 million in profits ....

Under such dire circumstances, lawmakers should jump at the chance to close a gaping corporate tax loophole. But you can count on most Republicans to defend rich people's right not to pay taxes, and Democrats aren't likely to feel any differently about this one.

That's because these particular tax dodgers can afford to hand out campaign cash and hire influential lobbyists.
We can't find out which companies are making off like bandits, but reporter Jeff Woods indicates that one name that is particularly infamous around Bells Bend figures prominently in the money grab:
one of its most prominent beneficiaries is widely thought to be Jack May, the developer who owns Belle Meade Plaza and Belle Meade Office Park. He's the smart guy who wants to turn tranquil Bells Bend into a second downtown.

One of May's new best friends is state Rep. Gary Odom. In the last session, Odom was the main lawmaker responsible for killing the governor's attempt to close the loophole. Later, May and the rest of the Bells Bend development crowd gave campaign cash to Odom, who then gave it to Democratic lawmakers running for reelection, who then voted to make Odom their new leader in the House.
I would say that both Rep. Odom and Jack May have put themselves in good positions now to make runs at whatever they want. Including at Bells Bend.

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