Beacon Center Releases Tennessee 2017 Pork Report

Today, we released our 12th annual Tennessee Pork Report and revealed that state and local government officials wasted more than $400 million of taxpayer money this past year.

The Pork Report highlights a combination of government mismanagement, incompetence, and outright fraud. The Beacon Center allowed Tennesseans like you to choose the infamous “Pork of the Year” award, and it really came down to the wire.

After nearly 400 votes were cast, the “winner” of the award was the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development for their Industrial Machinery Tax Credit. The department took 34% of the vote in the public poll. In one of the most inefficient instances of corporate welfare in recent years, Tennessee taxpayers paid a whopping $67 million annually for a mere 55 jobs per year from 2011-2014, which adds up to $1.2 million per job. Even if the program’s main goal isn’t to create jobs, it is not the role of government to help buy equipment for some private companies on the backs of taxpayers. The $14 million of tax dollars given to the Opryland Hotel to build a waterpark (that residents are not even allowed to use) came in a close second with nearly 32% of the vote. 

The 2017 Pork Report comes from state and local budgets, media reports, state audits, and independent research conducted by Beacon Center staff and scholars. An electronic version of the report can be found here.

In Liberty,

Justin Owen
President & CEO

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