Poor Nashville Policy Combined with Inflation Is Detrimental to the State’s Future
BY WARREN ZAGER
Growing up and living in downtown Nashville for the past 15 years, I have witnessed Nashville’s growing population and the transformation of the city that has followed. During the early 2000’s Nashville was seen as a smaller city with a passionate community thriving off the state’s historical music ties. Over the past decade, Nashville has become one of the country’s hot spots for relocation, making it one of the fastest growing cities in the country with nearly 400,000 new residents moving into the metro area in the last decade.
Although growth has been beneficial to the local economy and turned Nashville into the “It City”, the housing prices in the state’s capital have more than doubled in the past 10 years. In addition to increasing housing prices, Nashvillians have been met with rising inflation that has been detrimental to the quality of life here in the heart of the state. With the south’s inflation rate above the national average and an influx of new residents, Nashvillians are feeling the pinch more than most in the country.
One way to increase the housing supply and bring down costs is to ease zoning regulations around new construction. Even the White House recently said, “One of the most significant issues constraining housing supply and production is the lack of available and affordable land, which is in large part driven by state and local zoning and land use laws and regulations that limit housing density.” By reducing Nashville zoning regulations, housing prices can be more in line with their true cost. Though federal policy has led to the surge in inflation, Nashville can help its citizens—old and new—by reducing government barriers and allowing for an increase in housing supply.
In addition to rising housing costs, gas, food, and other essentials, the Nashville government has been failing its residents for years by giving tax dollar handouts to attract billion-dollar businesses to the city and by using tax dollars to build new stadiums for sports teams. These tax dollars are leaving government coffers while the city struggles to afford basic services like trash pickup. By realigning priorities and making sure tax dollars go to taxpayer services, not billionaire team owners or businesses, Nashville can serve its residents better.
There has never been a better time to implement suggestive policy that will drive the cost of living down and the quality of life up. Metro Council members and state legislators need to work together to combat national inflation by aligning policy that makes it easier for Nashvillians to live in the city…and know their trash will be picked up on time.