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The Development Corporation anyway, and why should I care?

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The Development Corporation of Knox County is a taxpayer funded, nonprofit corporation. That means they get all their money from Knox County taxpayers and that they don't pay any taxes. At all. No property taxes, nada, on any of their income or assets. And there is little or no oversight at all, no auditing of how they spend this money.

According to their website, The Development Corporation of Knox County is a "private, non-profit corporation, chartered as a 501 (C)3. The Development Corporation was formed by a group of interested business and community leaders in Knox County and represents a unique partnership between the private sector and government. We were created to enhance the economic and community development opportunities in our community."

The introduction to their site goes on to say, "The Development Corporation (TDC) has developed over 2,000 acres of business and industrial parks in Knox County. In addition to those properties, TDC maintains a complete inventory of industrial property throughout the community and can assist a company in a variety of ways. We are in the "hardware" side of the economic and community development business. TDC assists companies in assembling sites, developing buildings, facilitating permitting, assessing various infrastructure needs, and reviewing possible incentives that might be available for projects."

Mike Edwards, formerly of the PBA, is the President/CEO of TDC, although his compensation ($229,710 in 2004) is paid by the Knoxville Chamber Partnership, where he is also President/CEO, and which is also a tax-exempt organization. TDC pays for Jim Harrison, Executive Vice President, ($160,271 in 2003) Todd Napier, Director of Economic Development ($91,690 in 2003), Robin Holt, Directory of Administration ($75,100 in 2003) and other administrative staff.

The Development Corporation of Knox County Board of Directors

  • Hank Bertelkamp, President
  • Richard Maples, Vice-President
  • Dr. Clifton Woods, Secretary-Treasurer
  • Mark Brown
  • Suzanne Shelton
  • Mike Ragsdale, Knox County Mayor
    Phone: (865) 215-2005, Fax: (865) 215-2002
  • Bill Haslam, Mayor, City of Knoxville
    Work Phone: (865) 215-2040
  • Scott Moore, Chair, Knox County Commission
  • Billy Tindell, Chair, Knox County Commission Finance Committee
  • John Mills, Chair, Knox County Commission Intergovernmental Committee
  • Jim Clayton

TDC Staff

  • Mike Edwards President & CEO Knoxville Area Chamber Partnership & The Development Corporation
  • Todd Napier, Director of Development
  • Robin Holt, Director of Administration
  • Mary Jordan, Administrative Assistant

Click here for The Development Corp of Knox County's 2003 Tax Return

Click here for The Knoxville Chamber Partnership's 2004 Tax Return

Questions? Contact us at (865) 540-1455 or










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