Business executives join the fight to stop de-annexation

Business executives join the fight to stop de-annexation

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis lawmakers were confronted Wednesday with what Memphis stands to lose if communities are allowed to leave the city. Memphis businesses said jobs could be the first to go.

Two of Memphis' largest corporations are teaming up to take a stand against de-annexation.

City leaders were in Nashville trying to convince State and Local committees that de-annexation would devastate Memphis. This time, they were joined by business leaders from the city, including First Tennessee and AutoZone.

The mayor and business executives said if all the areas in the bill de-annexed, the city would lose tens of millions in revenue, crime stats would spike, and Memphis would have a hard time attracting businesses and jobs to the area.

Some residents said they moved to the area to get away from the city. Bobbie Rushing is one of those residents; she moved to her home in Hickory Hill 21 years ago.

"I moved here for that reason. There was one street going one way, one going the other way," Rushing said.

A few years later she was annexed back into Memphis, and she said things have gone downhill ever since.

"The people have moved out. I don't know who these people are renting to. But the houses are being rented mostly over here," Rushing said.

She said de-annexation is tricky. There are pros, like lower property taxes and being a part of the county.

"Well, that'd be good," Rushing agreed.

But at the same time she doesn't want the increase in crime or the difficulty in attracting businesses that city leaders said would happen either.

"Well, we don't want that. People already don't have jobs," Rushing said.

City leaders and business executives told lawmakers de-annexation would create a downward spiral in Memphis' economy.

Rushing said the dilemma is pushing for something that helps some people individually, or doing what's best for the entire area.

"You can't run, you can't hide. I mean, if it's better, it's alright. But if it's going to be devastating, then it's not alright. It's like, you don't know what to do," Rushing said.

Ultimately, she said people have a responsibility to look out for each other.

"Whatever's better for the city, they need to go with that," Rushing said.

Copyright 2016 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.