Next Stop: Belize
This is not a threat. It is more a cry, a lament for a city I have come to embrace for more than 30 years. Consider this a pre-farewell to Memphis, but with a few caveats thrown in.
My wife and I made a decision a few months back to earnestly begin preparations to leave Memphis and retire to the country of Belize. It’s not like it’s going to happen for a couple of years, because of our job commitments, but this May we’re doing a scouting trip to see firsthand if this is truly where we want to spend what’s left of our “golden years.” The prospect of leaving my sons, her daughter, and our grandchildren comes with natural trepidations. But, then when you weigh the alternatives based on what we’ve seen and what we project will be the future for us in a city with a myriad of problems and few solutions, it only seems to make our choice clearer.
Sometimes making hard decisions can be as simple as getting out a pen and paper and listing the pros and cons, in this case, for either staying or leaving.
What if we stay? There’s the great probability we will be paying increased city property taxes, based on a proposed refinancing plan advanced by Memphis Mayor A C Wharton’s administration. The “scoop and toss” refinance strategy of dealing with the city’s mounting debt, if passed by the city council, most assuredly will hang like an albatross around the necks of taxpayers for the rest of this decade. To refinance $134 million in debt and borrow another $75 million to keep us solvent can only lead to higher taxes and cuts in services.