The Look in Brief

Pork and green: Beacon Center report lists examples of government waste

By: - December 14, 2022 9:00 am
(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Government tax subsidies to build new professional sports facilities topped the annual Pork Report, a list of the most egregious examples of government money considered wasteful in Tennessee during the last year.

“From pickleball courts in Bristol to unused homeless pods in Nashville, there continues to be plenty of material for the Pork Report,” said Beacon Vice President of Strategy and Communications Mark Cunningham. “This report is supposed to be tongue in cheek, but it’s also meant to educate taxpayers on how their money is being wasted by state and local governments.”

Topping the list, which is published by The Beacon Center of Tennessee, was a proposal to build the Tennessee Titans a new $2 billion domed stadium in downtown Nashville. Specifically, the report cites the Tennessee General Assembly’s approval of $500 million to help fund construction. 

Also cited were Chattanooga’s millions for a new stadium for the city’s AA baseball team; Memphis, for a $2 million chunk of public change to remodel Liberty Stadium and Knoxville’s remodeling of its AA stadium. 

Referring to a story broken by the Tennessee Lookout, the Beacon report flags the City of Knoxville for suing — and losing to — streaming services like Netflix and Hulu over revenues the city has lost as residents end cable TV contracts. 

Other highlights include a nod to Bristol for using funds marked for “economic growth” to build pickleball courts in hopes of attracting national pickleball tournaments. 

Cunningham said the report demonstrates a bipartisan spirit: “Despite many people saying Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on anything, this report shows that wasting tax dollars seems to be the one thing that brings both parties together.

Get the full report here.

The Beacon Center is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing expert empirical research and timely free market solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee.

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Holly McCall
Holly McCall

Holly McCall has been a fixture in Tennessee media and politics for decades. She covered city hall for papers in Columbus, Ohio and Joplin, Missouri before returning to Tennessee with the Nashville Business Journal. She has served as political analyst for WZTV Fox 17 and provided communications consulting for political campaigns at all levels, from city council to presidential. Holly brings a deep wealth of knowledge about Tennessee’s political processes and players and likes nothing better than getting into the weeds of how political deals are made.