Once again, powerful business interests have approached the Metro Nashville Development and Housing Agency for a tax break, and once again, the Metro Nashville Development and Housing Agency appear to be all-too-happy to grant their request.
Nashville taxpayers, however, are not so eager. In a statement released by the Beacon Center of Tennessee:
According to a new rapid online poll released by the Beacon Center of Tennessee and Nashville-based polling firm icitizen, a full 92% of Tennesseans are opposed to the Metro Council’s proposal to use $14 million in taxpayer money to fund a waterpark at the Opryland Hotel that only hotel guests are allowed to use. Only about 5% of respondents approve of this deal. The incentives for the waterpark are viewed extremely unfavorably by Democrats, Republicans, and Independents alike.
“With this tax break, [the new Opryland development, Sound Waves] are competing with other, existing water parks, with government help. And on top of that, it is not open to regular Nashville residents,” said Mark Cunningham, Beacon’s marketing and communications director, in an interview with The Tennessee Star this morning. The Beacon Center is a 501 c(3) dedicated to “empowering Tennesseans to reclaim control of their lives.”
“So let’s think about this,” Cunningham said, “The residents of Nashville are picking up the tax-tab of another waterpark – one they can’t go to unless they are a paying customer of the Opryland resort complex.”
The tax incentive package is being shepherded through at the same time as residential property taxes are rising – an irony not lost on Cunningham.
“It’s not fair that taxpayers are having to pay higher and higher amounts, while the government subsidies luxury hotels,” he said.
Taxpayers seem to agree. Beacon Center of Tennessee posted an online poll, the results of which are available for view in real-time.
So far, a whopping 92.5% of votes cast either ‘somewhat oppose’ or ‘strongly oppose’ the tax incentive scheme.
The poll is open and ongoing through Wednesday, March 1st.