Metro Property Tax Increase – The Double-Edged Sword

It costs a lot to run the “world class city”  that Nashville has become and I don’t envy Mayor Karl Dean one bit!     CLICK HERE  to learn more about the Mayor’s proposed property tax increase.

Nashville businessman Lee Beaman contributed an interesting opinion with his letter-to-the-editor this past Sunday.  CLICK HERE to read his opinion.  (Please pay little attention to the class-envy comments that some made.  We can be assured the Beaman family pays more than their fair share in taxes to Metro.)

Karl Dean is right.  Nashville needs more revenue to continue and expand the services that we all demand and expect.  New schools need to be built.  Old school buildings are in disrepair.  Metro employees need raises.  Road improvements need to be scheduled.  Our aging infrastructure needs to be replaced in many areas.  We need more parks to add to our quality of life.

Most importantly, Nashville really needs a better and more boater-friendly Riverfront Park!   The riverfront areas of Knoxville, Chattanooga, and even Clarksville beat ours.

Lee Beaman is right too.  Increasing property taxes do make property values fall.  Maybe not all at once, but they will fall.  Look at Memphis and Shelby County. 

So, the average Nashville family will pay $192 more per year.   That $192 translates to approximately $3,000 in home purchase affordability.  Those that barely qualify for the “$145,400 median home value” in Davidson County will now only qualify for approximately $142,400 under the new tax rates.  Maybe not devastating, but enough to rattle the cup…especially when it may be yours!

The value of a piece of property is directly related to what a person or business can afford to pay for it.  Then, the more the value falls, the more the tax rate has to go up to generate the same revenue.  A vicious cycle.

What is the answer?  There’s not a good one.  No answer will  be popular to everyone, but it really is time to think outside of the box. 

The answer is simple.  We need a larger property tax base.  We need more families moving into Davidson County.  We need more businesses locating within the county limits.   We need people spending more money in Davidson County. 

It all starts with affordable housing, balanced with quality of life, and convenience.  Why wouldn’t someone working in Davidson County choose to live here?  We have got to eliminate those reasons to begin solving the problems.

Our surrounding counties do not have a football stadium to support, yet their citizens enjoy it.   They do not have the responsibility of a world-class arena, but their citizens pack it.  None of those counties have an international airport to maintain.  Some don’t have an airport at all!

Before you get the tomatoes, I am not advocating charging out-of-county residents more for airline flights, concerts, Titans, and Predator tickets.  We need every seat filled that we can get!  But it would be nice to have a “Metro Resident Discount.”

What about employers offering a “Metro Resident” pay incentive?  That incentive could come from TDOT, who could then slow down interstate constructon projects a bit!  

Then, if we could just make it less cumbersome for developers and builders to provide new, affordable housing in areas that already have needed infrastructure, we’d be off to a good start!

Nashville New Homes: It all starts with affordable housing.

It came as no surprise to anyone familiar with Fourth of July celebrations in Nashville for 2011’s “Let Freedom Sing” to be ranked in the top fifteen national celebrations.  From aol.com: http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/06/28/july-4th-fireworks-15-of-the-biggest-shows-in-america-ranked-p/

And while the fireworks went BOOM, Forbes was busy compiling its list of 2011 Boom Towns!  And Nashville is #3 on the list:

http://blogs.forbes.com/joelkotkin/2011/07/06/the-next-big-boom-towns-in-the-u-s/

Nashville is on a roll with Forbes, ranking #6 in the country for business and careers  http://www.forbes.com/2011/06/27/best-places-11-top-50_slide_7.html and #4 on the list of best places to retire: http://www.forbes.com/2011/03/23/best-retirement-places-cities-living-costs-doctors-crime_slide_11.html

And late last year, Nashville was ranked as the 4th best college town in America!     http://www.insidevandy.com/drupal/node/14645

All of these rankings are a benefit of affordable housing.   Plain and simple.

Without affordable housing, all of these encouraging rankings would disappear quicker than France surrendered to Germany in 1940!

The Nashville area is committed to providing affordable housing, and there is no better place to learn more than this Sunday at the 4th annual Mayor’s Homeownership Fair at Bridgestone Arena.  Here is the schedule for the day’s activities:   http://www.nashville.gov/housingfair/schedule.asp

No home builder is more committed to providing affordable brand new homes in the Greater Nashville area than Ole South, and we’ll be at the Mayor’s Homeownership Fair also!

In our 26th year, we remain committed to providing the very best new home values in every one of our neighborhoods.  Find our more at the 2011 Mayor’s Homeownership Fair, or by visiting our website, www.OleSouth.com.

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee