The City of Jackson intends to go down in history as the first city in the United States to add cryptocurrency as a payroll option for city employees. This will bring more opportunities primarily for residents, giving them a choice, instead of imposing on them only what is required for the city.
Since May 2021, Jackson City Mayor Scott Conger has been working to incorporate Bitcoin into the city government. “It’ll bring more opportunity,” Conger previously said, according to Jackson Sun.
“It's so refreshing to hear governments discussing different ways to finance things, besides 'we're going to raise your property taxes,' or 'we're going to implement this fee.' If we can find another way to do it, then that's what we're going to do.
“We offer our employees a deferred compensation opportunity for their retirement already. Why not add more options?”
At the moment, the plans are in the development phase, so a request for proposal (RFP) has been opened, which will allow third-party platforms to apply for the role of a cryptocurrency converter in the city. “The RFP is open!” Conger said. “The 22nd is when the respondents have to respond to the RFP. So once the 22nd hits, we’ll open the bids, have the committee, and then they’ll review it. They’ll probably make a recommendation to the council in February.”
Since Tennessee law does not allow the city to maintain its own balance sheet, Jackson City cannot pay with Bitcoin because that means it will have to hold cruptocurrency in order to pay with it. Therefore, the city must cooperate with a third-party platform. “So we'd pay our employees, and part of it would be a payroll deduction which would go to the third party, which they would then—from a pre-determined amount they'd worked out—open that wallet for them and purchase Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency,” Conger said.
In addition, the option will also allow Jackson City to pay contractors and companies in Bitcoin, allowing the city to attract a wider range of bidders. “If we do have a company or contractor that wants to get paid in Bitcoin — then we can use that same third-party, pay them in US dollars, and they can convert it and pay it immediately,” he said.
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