(WJHL) – Three state lawmakers received a total of $15,200 in campaign donations from people hoping to benefit from the Boones Creek retail and tourism incentive district in late 2019, filings show.
State Rep. Matthew Hill (R-Jonesborough), who represents the 7th District, was the biggest beneficiary, netting $7,400 from a total of five different people. Those same five — Mark Larkey, Bucky Mabe, Clarence Mabe, Bryan Sangid and Joe Wilson — contributed $45,000 of the total $55,000 that went to “People Working For Reform,” a political action committee formed last year.
People Working for Reform push for passage of the bill that enabled Johnson City to apply for a tax incentive district. The PAC’s five principals have been working to bring a multi-use development to the area of Boones Creek that Johnson City’s commission has tapped for consideration by the state.
Approval by the state would allow Johnson City to retain most of the increased state sales tax revenue generated within the 947-acre district over the next 30 years. The city, in turn, could pass some of that revenue on to developers such as the Mabe-Larkey-Sangid-Wilson group.
The Mabes and Larkey run FACE Amusements and hope to put an “experiential retail” complex on roughly 100 acres inside the district. Wilson is a developer and Sangid is a realtor and broker.
Matthew Hill submitted his “Early Year End Supplemental” campaign finance report on the Jan. 31 deadline. It showed him bringing in $47,250 in receipts between late July and Dec. 31, 2019. Of that, $1,600 each came from Wilson, Sangid, Larkey and Bucky Mabe on Nov. 2. The same day, Jama Mabe, Clarence Mabe’s wife, contributed $1,000.
The district encompasses parts of both the 6th and 7th house districts. 7th District Rep. Micah Van Huss (R-Jonesborough), collected $5,800, out of a total of $30,400, from people affiliated with the Boones Creek project.
Larkey, Bucky Mabe and Sangid each gave Van Huss $1,600 on Nov. 4. C&C Investments gave Van Huss $1,000 and has a listed address of 1008 Hillendale Road, Johnson City, which is the address of a home owned by Clarence and Jama Mabe.
Additionally, Fireball Wireless, a business listed in Johnson City that gave $5,000 to the People Working for Reform PAC, gave Van Huss $1,600 on Nov. 4.
Rep. Timothy Hill (R-Blountville) represents the 3rd District and is Matthew Hill’s brother. He received $1,000 each from Larkey and Bucky Mabe on Dec. 30, 2019 and Jan. 3, 2020, respectively. Timothy Hill reported a total of $89,500 in donations in the last half of 2019 and early 2020.