If the local chapter of the NAACP wants information on minority hiring at companies that have received tax breaks from Hamilton County, it will have to approach those companies individually the county says.
The county initially tried to respond to the NAACP request by asking the Urban League of Greater Chattanooga to collect minority hiring information on companies that received payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreements, such as Volkswagen.
Such agreements, known as PILOTs, are property tax breaks that excuse companies from tax bills for a period of time except for the portion of the tax that goes to schools.
But according to an e-mail sent on April 6, the Urban League will not be able to gather that information.
“The Urban League’s contract with Hamilton County government requires us to visit only county-funded construction sites forwarded to us by your purchasing department on a quarterly basis and record the number of women and minority employees at each site,” Urban League President and CEO Warren Logan Jr. wrote.
County Attorney Rheubin Taylor said the county will not gather the information for the NAACP.
“We don't have the information that they're asking for, so they need to go to those companies and ask them that information,” Taylor said. “The law doesn't require us (to give them) something that we don't have and we don't have it.”
The NAACP has not returned calls seeking comment.
Dan Whisenhunt covers Hamilton County government for the Times Free Press. A native of Mobile, Ala., Dan earned a degree in broadcast journalism from the University of Alabama. He won first place for best in-depth news coverage in the 2010 Alabama Press Association contest; the FOI-First Amendment Award in the 2007 Alabama Press Association contest; first place for best public service story in the Alabama AP Managing Editors contest in 2009 for economic coverage; and ...