The March Tornado Huffed, Covid-19 Puffed, But Will They Blow Nashville’s Fiscal House of Cards Down?
The “crisis budget.” A fitting name assigned by Mayor Cooper to the 2021 Metro Nashville Budget that went into effect July 1st. As the never-ending saga of 2020 season 1, episode – who’s- counting continues, strapped Nashvillians are surveying the budget with scrutiny due to the 34% property tax increase.
After being hit with tornadoes and Covid-19 in March, Nashvillians have been restructuring their daily lives, business models, sources of income, and spending in order to make ends meet. As property owners redesign their own budgets, it’s no wonder that the property tax hike has many people frustrated.
There are many measures the community must take to ensure the structural integrity of Nashville’s future, but taxpayers feel like they got the short end of the stick. Here’s why: After running on a platform where he said he did not support raising taxes, Mayor Cooper framed the shocking property tax increase as necessary to bounce back from the blowback of this year’s unforeseen events. The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a free-market policy think tank, begs to differ. The center has reported frivolous spending highlighted in their annual Pork Reports that have “identified more than $300 million by Metro Nashville in waste, fraud, and abuse” since 2015. The center also released an outline of 5 different solutions to cut back on budget spending without increasing taxes.
If you want a good house, you must build a good foundation. As residents trim the fat in their own lives to stay afloat and secure their financial future, it is not a stretch for them to expect their lawmakers to do the same. Instead, taxpayers are left feeling they are bearing the brunt of the burden. Just like a well-structured house, the load must be evenly distributed. With all of the attention that has been put on Nashville’s budgetary failures this year, perhaps the Metro City Council will draw up a better blueprint in the future.