But it makes us look so DUMB that I’m going to write about it again.
And I’m going to write about it over and over until someone gets disgusted enough to do something about it.
Are we fools?
How can we be such suckers?
Nick Saban is quoted in a speech at the American Football Association convention in 2014, “Every car dealer I know wants to be a coach. I always wanted to be a car dealer.”
Coach Saban is living his dream. He’s not only the most respected football coach in America, but he owns Mercedes Benz dealerships in Hoover and soon in Nashville.
But here’s the main take away for you folks in Hoover: The City of Irondale has paid off Coach Saban and his partner at Mercedes Benz of Birmingham with a $13 million incentive to move their dealership from Hoover to Irondale.
And we’re supposed to be thrilled—“The (new) dealership (will) feature a glass tower where a vehicle appears to float in air…It will be a showpiece.”
We certainly can’t blame Irondale.
Irondale is currently sucking up $3 million a year in sales tax revenue from automobile sales…pretty good for a small town with only 12,000 residents. And they’re just getting started.
Nor can we blame Nick Saban.
Who in their right mind would turn down $13 million?
But citizens in Hoover don’t seem to mind.
Hoover, are you paying attention? Where is your outrage?
- $10 million that could be used for schools.
- $10 million that could be used to reduce crime
- $10 million that could be used for parks and beautification
- $10 million in less taxes
Is it okay for Birmingham area municipalities to pay huge incentives to steal businesses from one another?
Irondale snatched Tom Williams Buick from Birmingham. Then Birmingham pilfered Walmart from Irondale with $11 million in incentives; Irondale tried to snag Trinity Medical Center from Birmingham, but the City of Birmingham gave Trinity $55 million to remain in the city limits.
We are giving our tax dollars to businesses that are playing us for suckers.
No wonder our Birmingham region is not growing jobs or population.
There’s an easy solution
- We don’t have to combine municipalities
- We don’t have to have a unified school system
- We don’t have to convince the legislature
- We don’t have to have a public vote
All we have to do is get our shortsighted mayors to sit down and agree not to steal companies from one another.
That’s what they did in Denver.
In August 2000, five counties and 25 municipalities in and around Denver voluntarily came together to sign the Mile High Compact. The Compact is an intergovernmental agreement not to compete with each other for companies.
Not only have the Denver municipalities agreed not to pilfer companies from one another, but they work together to recruit new businesses.
If a Denver municipality is unable to accommodate an out of state business, then the prospect is referred to other municipalities in the region and everyone works together in the recruitment process.
The people in Denver understand that if a business moves into an adjacent municipality—everyone benefits.
Nick Saban is known for his ‘process.’
We also have a process—but our process allows manipulative businesses to play us against one another.
Looks like a ‘lousy’ process.
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David Sher is Co-Founder of AmSher Compassionate Collections. He’s past Chairman of the Birmingham Regional Chamber of Commerce (BBA), Operation New Birmingham (REV Birmingham), and the City Action Partnership (CAP).
Invite David to speak to your group about a better Birmingham. firstname.lastname@example.org