The Chattanooga-Hamilton County NAACP is asking the county for information about the number of blacks hired by companies that have received tax breaks.
Joe Rowe, the first vice president of the NAACP, said the NAACP sent the letter more than a week ago to county leaders.
“We have black people who are concerned they are unable to find jobs, especially in companies that have been expanding and growing, and our question is, ‘Have they been hiring and have they been hiring black people?’” Rowe said.
The county and city use tax breaks, known as payment in lieu of taxes agreements, to lure companies such as Volkswagen to the area.
Chairman Larry Henry said he’s seen the letter but said he isn’t sure if the county can provide the information the NAACP is looking for.
“I've been out to Volkswagen quite a bit,” Henry said. “They've got a fair share of minorities working out there. “I don't think it's really an issue we should be concerned about.”
Commissioner Greg Beck said he’d heard the NAACP might be requesting some information, but said his current focus is fighting crime.
He added that the issue might be worth investigating.
Contact staff writer Dan Whisenhunt at firstname.lastname@example.org or 423-757-6481. Follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/DWhisenhunt.
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 ...