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Nashville Would Tie For Highest Sales Tax In Nation Under Mayor Barry’s Transit Plan

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From apparel to zip-up kitchen bags, merchandise sold in Nashville would bear some of the highest sales tax in the nation if the backers of the city’s proposed light rail system have their way, a PAC says.

NoTax4Tracks is the PAC opposing the May 1 referendum in Nashville/Davidson County on a proposed increase in sales and hotel taxes.  The organization issued a press release over the weekend criticizing Mayor Megan Barry’s plan to raise the state-city sales tax to 10.25 percent to help finance the transit plan.

The PAC says 10.25 percent would give Nashville the highest sales tax in the nation. According to the Tax Foundation, two cities currently are tied for the dubious honor of highest sales tax, and both have rates of 10.25 percent: Long Beach, California, and Chicago. Nashville would tie for the top spot in the nation’s most expensive cities in which to shop. Nashville is currently tied in ninth place on the Tax Foundation’s sales tax list.

The city’s sales tax would increase by 0.5 percent from 9.25 percent to 9.75 percent, NoTax4Tracks says on its website. By 2023 the tax will have increased to 10.25 percent.

“Whether it’s a senior living off of social security and/or pensions, or someone who’s livelihood depends on disability payments, the transit plan, if passed, would be devastating,” the NoTax4Tracks press release says.

David Fox recently told The Tennessee Star, “I think that’s a very punitive approach for the middle class and lower-income.”

The Tax Foundation said, “Research indicates that consumers can and do leave high-tax areas to make major purchases in low-tax areas, such as from cities to suburbs,” citing a research paper published in 2005 by West Virginia University’s Regional Research Institute. “For example, strong evidence exists that Chicago-area consumers make major purchases in surrounding suburbs or online to avoid Chicago’s high sales tax rates.”

NoTax4Tracks adds, “And that’s just the starting cost. Not a single project of its type has come in at or under budget in any other major metropolitan area. The worst part: It won’t even solve our traffic issues… and for years, perhaps as much as a decade or more, it will make them worse.”

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5 thoughts on “Nashville Would Tie For Highest Sales Tax In Nation Under Mayor Barry’s Transit Plan

  1. Papa

    The City Council is already lying about the true cost of the transit as have most cities building a system. $5.2B is now $9B and it hasn’t even made it to a ballot yet.
    Nashville Star: annual cost is $3.3M with a return on fares at $1.3M, costing tax payers $2M annually!

  2. Steve L.

    I bet the light rail system Mayor Berry wants would be a big draw for Amazon HQ2? No, it will not. What company wants to open up a business in an area where their employees will have their paychecks deflated by local and state taxes? This new company has to raise their wages to offset increased taxes with no benefit to their customers. Companies and skilled labor are fleeing California, New York, Illinois, and Massachusetts for just those types of reasons. Low taxes draw businesses, skilled labor, and tourism. High taxes repel them.

    1. NativeNashvillian

      In fact, Amazon has repeatedly declared a usable and efficient city transit option is a large draw to their employees and will factor in greatly when choosing a city for its new HQ. To add, Nashville is the odds on favorite for its new HQ precisely due to our ambitious infrastructure and transit plan. Bring on transit, bring on Amazon, bring on Jobs!

  3. 83ragtop50

    This would be just another reason for me and my family to avoid visiting Nashville. Mayor Berry and the idiotic city council is quickly turning Nashville a hell hole.

    1. Papa

      The only reason I go to Nashville is the VA, and haven’t for years. I moved from Metro shortly after the NFL came to town and metro and the state spent $millions to get them here. The message was clear. More tax and spend just like other ultra liberal cities. In the next few years all you will have in Nashville will be the projects and “affordable” housing . . . .and sports stadiums. Years ago I heard Nashville would be the next Detroit . . . . . . . .
      Glad to be on the outside looking in!

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