Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Big property tax increase on the way! STATE OF METRO: Nashville Mayor John Cooper gives the State of Metro address as the city deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

STATE OF METRO: Nashville Mayor John Cooper gives the State of Metro address as the city deals with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Live now 10:51Am. Follow this link

These are my spontaneous notes as the mayor speaks. 

The mayor says this is the worst crisis the city has ever faced.  We were already reeling from a budget that did not balance and a scramble to fix it.  On top of that we had the tornado that left 2200 people homeless. Now, the virus.  We still have the same problems of teacher shortage and need for improved transit and traffic and more sidewalks, ect, but now must deal with the crisis.

There is lot of help for those with needs, rent assistance, mortgage payment assistance other needs.  We have free virus testing. The community has responded. For help call the hotline. Testing is available. The city has responded well, helping those in need and with loses.

The financial disaster: We have no rainy day fund. The mayor rehashes the issue of the Comptroller calling metro's hand for a budget that didn't  balance and how we  balanced it.  I expected to be presenting a budget that addressed our plan to improve money management and to address our needs, says the mayor. Now however, we must shift some priorities.  We cannot delay, must invest to rebuild our city.  Unemployment going up; revenues fall. Revenue will  be down between 200 and 300 million dollars. Our first concern must be to continue to deliver essential services. No promotions or pay raises, delaying all non-essential spending. This still not enough. Just to stay even will require millions in savings and new revenues. Sales taxes are down. Music City Centre  is kicking in $30 more millions.  Still not enough. Must tap cash balances. We must raise taxes. We have to. It will be substantial.

We have to file an actual balanced budget. Has to be submitted next month with data available.  No other option. We can't borrow or print money.

( I was pulled away on crucial business and missed  the last few minutes.)

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