Last week we told you about the Beacon Center’s online poll asking Tennessee taxpayers if they supported the Metro Nashville City Council’s preliminary vote to grant a tax incentive deal worth $14 million to Opryland.
The early results showed that a staggering 92.5% opposed the luxury resort receiving generous tax breaks to build a private water park available to only their hotel guests.
The poll is now completed, and the final numbers are in. After a full week of voting, an even larger margin of Tennessee Taxpayers – 95% – now oppose the deal.
With such an overwhelming response, the Beacon Center took a look at how else that $14 million could have been used.
Based on average salaries in the city of Nashville, this $14 million tax break to the Opryland hotel could have paid for one year’s salary for 276 teachers, 280 police officers, or 335 firefighters.
Mark Cunningham of the Beacon Center noted in a statement, “Nashvillians and Tennesseans are almost unanimously opposed to giving taxpayer money to a water park. A whopping 95% of Tennesseans believe that this incentive deal to the Opryland Waterpark is a bad idea, which is truly incredible. Not even 95% of people believe the Moon Landing was real, which shows the fierce opposition to taxpayer money going to a water park.”
Cunningham went on to say, “There are things that nearly every Nashvillian believes the government should be spending money on, whether it is public safety or education. It’s pretty clear that we should be focusing our resources on what the city needs and not continuing to give multi-million dollar handouts to big corporations at the expense of small businesses and Nashville homeowners.”
The poll has surveyed over 350 Tennesseans with about half coming from the Nashville area.
The above results are directional and not a traditional scientific poll, but offer a glimpse of how residents view the waterpark incentive deal.