Thursday, August 25, 2016

Mayor Barry proposes expansion of the Urban Services District

While Nashville-Davidson County has a metropolitan form of government, we still have two taxing districts. Most of the counties population lives in the Urban Services District (USD) where they have a tax rate of $4.516 per $100 of assessed value.  In the more rural areas and some suburbs, people live in the General Services District (GSD) and have a tax rate of  $3.924 per $100 of assessed value. The only thing the people in the USD get that people in the GSD do not get is garbage pick-up and street lights. They still get the same library services, police services and fire services and of course we only have one school system for the county.  Mayor Barry is attempting to annex into the USD some of the developed suburbs.

While I generally oppose tax increases, I do not oppose this effort to bring into the USD those highly developed suburban areas.  I think it makes sense.  I see it as an equity issue. It appears the GSD area gets services they do not pay for subsidized by the USD ratepayers.  I would like this proposal better if it was revenue neutral and if tax rates were rolled back so that after paying for expanding street lighting and trash pick up in the annexed areas there was no net increase in revenue to Metro government.

For many living in the suburban communities to be annexed, the increase in taxes will be less than the cost they currently pay for private trash collection. To learn more about this issue see this link and this link to Tennessean stories.  For those who want to delve deep into the issue, here is a link to a Metro Planning Commission staff report beginning on page 156.
Below is the mayor's letter to the Planning Commission requesting the annexation be deferred to the first meeting in October.


Below is the map showing the proposed expansion of the USD. The light brown areas are the areas of the proposed expansion.

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1 comment:

  1. Saying that the tax increase is less than private trash pickup makes the assumption that the home owner pays for trash pickup at all. Some people choose to take their trash to the dump themselves. Others like myself, are landlords that don't pay for trash pickup. So what this does is move the burden of paying for trash pickup from the tenant to the landlord. The landlord isn't going to just sit back and take it, they will raise rents to accordingly to make up for lost revenue. For those that complain that rent is too high, this is just one more reason that it will continue to rise.