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Letters: Should the state stop retail poaching?

Johnson City Press • Jan 26, 2020 at 6:00 AM

With Monday’s Question of the Week, we asked readers if Tennessee should make retail poaching more difficult, a proposal that could affect developers competing for tax incentives. Here are some responses we received.

Brick-and-mortar mortality

Poaching stores is the second question. The first question is: Is there a need and market for another retail destination? If there was that need, then there would be so many brick and mortar retailers that poaching would be insignificant. But the way of retail is not brick and mortar. It’s been declining for 20 years.

That said, should poaching be made more difficult by “the state?” No. Let the free market prevail. Isn’t that the prevailing sentiment of political tendencies in Tennessee?

DICK NELSON
Johnson City

Why so much focus on retail?

On one hand, area leaders talk about coming together on regionalism and then turn around and want to compete with one another. Johnson City, Kingsport and Bristol have always competed with one another in every way possible.

Who would really benefit from a Pinnacle type center in Boones Creek? Well, the landowners and the contractors would make a killing. Wonder what input they had on the new law passed by the Tennessee Legislature that will allow this monstrosity to be built? Not only this area of the state but other parts also.

Also, has Johnson City given any thought to what effect this might have on their plans for the white elephant (John Sevier hotel) as far as finding someone willing to spend millions to renovate and no tenants?

Have leaders given any thought to how every year online shopping gobbles up more and more of the retail dollars? How about the fact that the area population is decreasing little by little every year? Anyone with common sense knows that this will hurt the mall and downtown.

If you are going to destroy this beautiful area why not see if some manufacturers like the big car companies would take advantage of some really good incentives and build here. At least the jobs would pay around $25 per hour and not $8.

Last but not least, although the economy is booming, never forget what goes up will eventually come down. History always repeats itself. Trump could be thrown out or not voted back in. The amazing national debt and student debt will have to be dealt with sooner or later either by repayment or default. Either one will have a terrible effect on disposable income. Empty storefronts anyone?

RANDY TAYLOR
Jonesborough

Here’s a letter we received about a different topic important to our readers.

Cover your loads

As most of you know Keep Carter County Beautiful, an all-volunteer grassroots organization that is cleaning up, educating through litter awareness programs, and promoting enforcement of the litter and illegal dumping that is going on throughout our region. I am writing this letter of concern and in support of our Covered Tennessee State Load Laws, Section 39-14-507.

We are asking that all of our citizens and businesses, if not already doing so, to start complying and support our covered state load laws.

In case you are not aware, about 70% of trash and rubbish along our roads and highways in Tennessee are blown off or fall out of both commercial and private vehicles that are not covered. This is creating an eye sore, safety issues, and is detrimental to our environment in a negative way. There is a loss of tourism tax dollars and it's costing Tennessee taxpayers (which includes you) to the tune of over 15 million dollars a year to cleanup because of uncovered loads.

Your participation and support in this matter would be greatly appreciated. By doing so, it would help keep Carter County clean and green and keep it more beautiful.

EDWARD JORDAN
Elizabethton