[O]ur investigation discovered [the Family-Owned Non-Corporate Entities loophole] also benefited plenty of people around Belle Meade -- the people who appear in the society pages -- who've managed to keep all their money in the family.
Williams: "If I own a building with my best friend from college, it's taxable?" Williams asked [Revenue Commissioner Reagan] Farr.
Williams: "If I own it with my rich brother, it's tax free?"
Farr: "That's correct."
Williams: "What's the logic behind that?"
Farr: "There is none -- none whatsoever."
Last year, Belle Meade's Rep. Gary Odom, the House Democratic leader, pulled the plug last year on efforts to close the loophole.
"I could not get a clear answer last year as to how many businesses were going to be affected by it," Odom told Williams.
Among Odom's supporters, millionaire developer Jack May and his family own the Belle Meade Plaza, as well as several nearby office buildings.
The Mays are also behind the $4 billion May Town Center proposed for Bells Bend.
"I don't know who has a FONCE. Tax information is private information. It's confidential," Odom said.
"Have they ever discussed it with you?" Williams asked.
Jack May did not return NewsChannel 5's phone call.
But Odom's own campaign treasurer, millionaire developer Bill Freeman, has acknowledged he's also taken advantage of the exemption to avoid state taxes on his real estate holdings.
Supporters of the FONCE law argue that sheltering mom and pop businesses are a good thing. But the glossy, corporate-looking May Town Center enterprise hardly appears to be mom and pop. The fact that they can promote, plan, and realize that concept tax-free ought to gall those who dutifully pay taxes and are not given special favors because of the accident of birth into rich families.
However, the May family is not the only one sponging off Tennesseans. Williams says non-Tennessean business owners, including a New York strip club sugar daddy are using FONCE as a tax shelter. Watch NewsChannel5's entire report: