Thursday, June 21, 2012

Update: Council passes the McGuire 53-cent tax increase budget

Below is the video of the June 19th Council meeting at which the budget was adopted. This is worth watching. There are some very good speeches and some good points made. Below are the highlights:

  •  Charlie Tygerd moves his bill to require all new employees of Metro Nashville to be residents of Davidson County. (Starts at 19:58.) In my view this not a wise move and I hope it will be defeated. I would prefer no Metro employees live in Davidson County. They represent a voting block that can be depended upon to always favor a tax increase. Councilman Maynard argues in favor of the bill.Councilman Tim Garrett argues against and says, "I don't want to be like Memphis" which is the only other city in Tennessee with such a requirement. He explains this bill will make the unions more powerful (35.33). The bill is deferred one meeting.
  •  The budget debate starts at 47:01. Council Jon Cooper explains the process of gives an over view. Councilman McGuire, Chairman of the Budget and Finance Committee explains the alternative budget. McGuire does a good job. I disagree with him, but do think he does a good job a explaining the logic for the alternative budget which shifts some funds but raised the tax rate the full 55 cents.
  • Robert Duvall's no-tax increase budget is taken up at 1:01:42. The Duvall amendment gets the support of seven Council members: Tygert, Bennett, Stites, Standley, Tenpenny, Dominy and Duvall. The final vote on the budget is meaningless. When the final vote on the budget is cast, the effect of the "no" vote was a vote for the Mayors budget as opposed to the McGuire budget. Only the people who voted for the Duvall amendment my honestly say they voted against a tax increase.
  • Councilman Tygert's amendment which would increase the tax rate by 41 cents instead of 53 cents is taken up at 1:13:04. Please watch his presentation. He explaing the two "elephants in the room": the raising cost of employee benefits and the increasing cost of servicing Metro's debt. This amendment gets the support of eleven council members: Tygert, Bennett, Stites, Standley, Dominy, Glover, Weiner, Evans, Blalock, Todd and Mitchell.
  • Other amendments follow and all fail and the debate ends and the final vote is cast at 2:23:20.

Below posted on 6/20/2012
No-Tax advocates retreat in the face of defeat. Pictured exiting the stairwell left to
Right: Louella Ballenger (my lovely wife), Rod Williams (that’s me), and Ed Zeagler

 Metro Council votes to raise taxes, put money in rainy day fund
Written by Michael Cass, The Tennessean, June 20, 2012
The Metro Council voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to raise property taxes for the first time in seven years to fund a $1.71 billion operating budget, despite significant opposition from Nashville residents.
The council voted 32-8 for a substitute budget that largely mirrored the plan Mayor Karl Dean first presented during his State of Metro address on May 1.(read more)

Posted 6/19/2012
I was one of small group of tax opponents who showed up at the Council tonight wearing my "no- tax" tee shirt. There was probably only about 30 of us there; certainly not more than 50. I was disappointed but not really surprised. While polls show a majority of the people of Davidson County oppose the tax increase, I have not observed a lot of intensity around the issue.(read more)

As expected the McGuire budget passed. The Robert Duvall no-tax-increase-budget got only five votes and the Charlie Tygerd 41-cent-increase budget got only eleven votes.

I thought Charlie Tygerd did a great job of explaining the coming crisis in Metro employee benefit cost to the city and of warning of the growing requirements for debt service.  Unless the city gets serious about addressing these two issue, our city's future does not look bright. While I certainly disagree with the McGuire budget, I thought he did a good job of explain the budget.

Robert Duvall, Dwuane Dominy, Karen Bennett, Councilman Todd, and Emily Evans also made good comments.

Video to follow soon.

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  1. Who do we vote for tomorrow that will not raise taxes!

  2. Please look at my recent post of my recommendations. I believe all of the State and Federal candidates I have recommended are committed to holding the line on spending. None of them would support raising taxes. Unfortunately, when it comes to the school board races, I do not think any of the candidates have ran on a platform of opposing tax increases.