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Memphis' Financial Blues -- A History of Chasing Money

The financial security of Memphis is at stake as the city plans for future growth amidst decades of economic stagnancy. Marc Perrusquia explains.

In a new six-part series, Commercial Appeal investigative reporter Marc Perrusquia explores the challenges facing the city's finances in the coming decades. The biggest problem, he says, is a stagnant tax base trying to prop up a sprawling infrastructure.

While the city has grown 50 percent in land mass since the 1970s, there are fewer people living within its borders than four decades ago. Perrusquia says that one culprit -- a negative perception of living in Memphis -- led to the departure of the middle class.

Perrusquia gives us a preview of the Commercial Appeal's series, which begins this Sunday in the print edition. Next week, we will talk to Perrusquia about the city's efforts to correct its financial problems. 

Reporting from the gates of Graceland to the balcony of the Lorraine Motel, Christopher has covered Memphis news, arts, culture and politics for more than 20 years in print and on the radio. He is currently WKNO's News Director and Senior Producer at the University of Memphis' Institute for Public Service Reporting. Join his conversations about the Memphis arts scene on the WKNO Culture Desk Facebook page.