I am taking the liberty of reposting the following letter from Ken Jakes to all members of the Metro Council and I am reposting the emails which were attached to Ken Jakes letter to the Council members. Since Ken Jakes has already widely distributed this information I am not considering it a private communications. I am however deleting the email address and phone numbers of "John and Vicky"
since they may not have wanted that information made public.
Ken Jakes is a frequent critic of Metro Government and a citizen activist discovering and exposing government corruption and waste. He is a former and probably future candidate for public office.
Members of our Council,
I was asked to respond to the forwarded email so let me share my thoughts and please consider. To say that the 40% property tax on the Gaylord and Dollywood winter park is more then the vacant land is bringing into Metro at it's present tax rate is the wrong outlook. Any development in Nashville and Davidson County that would take vacant land and build structures, buildings, parking, etc. will bring in more revenue then in it's present state. If this is the approach the Council will take on development, are you going to approve on all development of vacant land to only charge 40% of the established Tax Rate ? I'm sure every hardware store, grocery store, and all other small business owners would love that approach, however I don't see that happening.
It is to the benefit of Gaylord to move this project forward because the land is already zoned for this project and to let the property set vacant is costing Gaylord revenues. When you talk about economic development and sales tax revenues that this project will provide, it is nothing in comparison to all the small business combined collectively together in Nashville and Davidson County who are struggling and paying more taxes. Every dollar of tax break provided to Gaylord and Dollywood has to be picked up by the remaining tax payers.
It is right that we can not predict the future, however I believe if we are going to assume, then we can assume if this practice continues that it will be nobody left but the BIG CORPORATIONS. Small business will fall and deteriorate, by being crushed by picking up the tax burden provided to the LARGE CORPORATIONS, because it was better then what we had.
Just for the record, my property at 2223 Whites Creek Pike, was vacant land that had been sitting for years until it was bought and Jakes Produce was built. The property has gone through the Council's process in Zoning, and I can assure you that the Davidson County Tax Office noticed the improvements and charge according to the established tax rate. Sure would have been nice if our Council had said, what the heck, cut the taxes 60% because it is better then what we had.
In closing let me just state the Administration in my opinion and I believe in your opinion, will be seeking a tax increase from the people. How would you explain to your constituents, Oh yea we need you to pay an increase but Gaylord and Dollywood got a decrease in taxes ? Something tells me that this will not go over very well.
I am just writing my opinion, however I believe it is the overwhelming opinion of the tax payers and constituents across Davidson County.
Members of our council, I hope you consider me to be genuine in my thoughts and at least you can state that Ken Jakes leaves no doubt where he stands. I would not care who would see where I stand on the issue. If you support the tax break for Gaylord and Dollywood can you do the same ?
From: "John Murphy"