Greater Nashville REALTORS® is committed to making informed decisions on policies that impact our members and property owners. Earlier this year, we shared an independent study of Metro Nashville/Davidson County’s Finances commissioned by our organization, along with the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce conducted by Elliot Davis. Based on the information presented in the report, we know that Nashville faces some difficult discussions regarding the budget and long-term financial plan to sustain our great city.
As it stands, the Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Council is deciding on approving a substantial property tax increase for the 2020-2021 budget. This discussion will have a lasting impact on property owners across the county who will experience the sudden burden of that decision. In a letter sent to the Metropolitan Nashville/Davidson County Council, our association requests as the Council determines the next course of action for our city’s future, they also consider how these decisions will affect property owners. Precisely, what improvements and changes are in place to support property owners, who will bear this substantial tax increase burden.
Nashville must fund the Planning Department fully and address planning regulations and zoning restrictions. The current restrictions create barriers for building and renovating affordably. Current policies also limit density which is driving affordability concerns. Property owners are forced to take actions that price the housing stock out of reach of those who need it most.
Most importantly, Nashville must address its long term funding solution for its massive and growing Other Post-Employment Benefits (OPEB) debt. Our study points out that Nashville’s OPEB obligation is 48% of total liabilities and operates on a pay as you go method and does not have a designated fund to pay for fast-growing future benefits. The city must plan a long term solution for this ever increasing debt. Property owners cannot continue to be saddled with this debt that continues to grow unsustainably and is going unaddressed year after year.
And most recently, there have been regular proposals at Council that limit or take away property owners’ rights. Recent examples are proposals to restrict the rights of landlords even when those concerns are covered by state law.
Our organization and members understand the importance of a financially-stable city government and the challenges of this year. But we are stressing to Councilmembers the importance of addressing the ongoing issues that will continue to strain property owners and future budgets if unaddressed. The city is turning to property owners to stabilize our city, and we will ensure they are heard.
We are following this development closely and will continue to provide you with accurate information regarding the Metro Nashville Budget as those discussions continue.
To view the letter from your 2020 President, Kristy Hairston to Metro Council, please click here.
Click here to see a graph from Councilmember Dave Rosenberg that gives a side-by-side comparison of the three different budget proposals that the Metro Council will be discussing tomorrow night.