Is downtown Nashville blighted? Of course it is not.That is an absurd question. It is booming and expensive, yet the Council has declared it to be so and has said downtown Nashville is "detrimental to the safety, health, morals and welfare of the people of Nashville." In order to cure this blight, the council extended the downtown development district through the year 2040.
By declaring Nashville "blighted" the city can encourage downtown development by making Tax Increment Financing available when developers want to build downtown. When these new developments pay taxes, the tax does not go to finance schools and pay for police and fire protection and roads and parks and libraries or subsidize Farmers market or pay for all other services provided by the city; it goes instead to the Metro Development and Housing Agency to finance more downtown development. Now, the State is questioning if Nashville is using this development tool for the purpose it was intended.
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