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What did the AllianceBernstein deal cost Tennessee? The state isn't saying


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  If you want to know exactly how many of your tax dollars went to convince the prestigious New York investment firm AllianceBernstein to move its headquarters and a thousand jobs to Nashville you’re out of luck.

City and state officials say the company will receive more than $17 million in grants as a part of the agreement. However, the state is refusing to reveal what kind of tax breaks it offered the firm to clinch the deal.

Nashville Business Journal Senior Reporter Adam Sichko filed a Freedom of Information Request asking for the details, but the state declined to comply.

Sichko says there’s no question the relocation is a real coup for Nashville and the state. He says some 30 cities competed for the headquarters relocation.

“Alliance Bernstein has said their average job will pay between a $150,000 to $200,000 a year, which for perspective is higher than the median income in Brentwood.”

Sichko says the laws that allow state government to keep the terms of negotiations confidential date back decades. He says officials insist secrecy is necessary to compete with other states in high-stakes negotiations for top companies.

Not everyone agrees. Sichko says some state lawmakers, as-well-as open government advocates, find the lack of transparency troubling.

“The public is unable to fully assess whether the state has made a wise deal, because the public does not know the full scope of the various incentives and benefits that any particular company is receiving from the state.”

Would you like to read Senior Reporter Adam Sichko's in-depth article on the AllianceBernstein deal in the Nashville Business Journal?

Use the link below to listen to the complete WMOT interview with NBJ reporter Adam Sichko.