Controversial Tenn. projects on Site Selection top deals of 2010

A pair of controversial Tennessee economic development projects are included in Site Selection magazine’s rankings of the most significant deals of 2010.

Site Selection released the rankings today.

An Electrolux plant in Memphis that would make ranges, wall ovens and cooktops is ($190 million and 1,200 jobs) is on the list of the Top Ten projects in North America last year. Earning Honorable Mention is’s plans for two distribution centers in the southeast corner of the state ($164 million, 1,400 jobs).

Despite the potential job creation, both projects have attracted criticism in recent weeks.

Tennessee lawmakers have raised questions about the multi-million-dollar incentive package the state is providing Electroux. At one point Electrolux threatened to cancel the deal if the incentives weren’t approved.

Questions also have been raised about the decision by the previous administration to waive state tax laws that would have required Amazon to collect Tennessee state and local sales taxes on products shipped to Tennessee.

Amazon is the target of a growing national movement to force the company to collect sales taxes. Small businesses, including many in Tennessee, have complained that Amazon has an unfair competitive advantage when it doesn’t collect sales taxes.

Site Selection magazine: Top North American Deals of 2010