Thursday, August 29, 2019

Nashville Government Gone Wild

BY MARK CUNNINGHAM, The Beacon Center - When Beacon did exit polling in the Nashville mayoral race last month, taxes/fiscal responsibility was the number one issue for voters in the city, and for good reason. Our city is run with less restraint than drunken college girls in front of a Girls Gone Wild cameraman. A news report from News Channel 5 this week showed that the booming “It City” is somehow $4.5 billion in debt, which is more than double the debt of the entire state of Tennessee.

Instead of carefully and effectively cutting the incredible amounts of waste or the hundreds of millions of tax dollars given out to corporations each year, Mayor Briley has simply asked department heads to “find savings” in their budgets with no real direction. The city’s debt problem is so bad that the Tennessee comptroller—the state’s money cop—sent the mayor and city council a letter posing major concerns for the debt situation and lack of a plan to solve it.

This is why local politics and local government matters so much. While the state of Tennessee is very fiscally responsible compared to other states, the city of Nashville continues to spend money like a drunken sailor. Despite bringing in more tax revenue than ever before, the city somehow keeps overspending by absurd amounts.

As a Nashville resident and homeowner, the way the city has been mismanaged infuriates me. It’s not just one person or department either. The city continues to spend money it doesn’t have for programs it doesn’t need and the chickens are finally coming home to roost. Nashville will not always have this kind of growth, and if we cannot balance a budget now, how do we expect to do it when the growth slows down? We are in serious danger of becoming the next Chicago or San Francisco if our city leaders fail to show some type of fiscal restraint.

This type of is one of the reasons Beacon has made it a priority to focus on policies advanced by local governments across the state. We will continue to work effectively at the state level, but we have decided to also engage more on local matters in cities and counties in the years that come. Whether it’s a property tax hike in Murfreesboro, a proposed stadium deal in Chattanooga, or an unnecessary expansion of government-owned internet in Johnson City, we will have our ears to the ground and will fight beside you when these issues arise.

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