Republican business owner and Rutherford County Mayoral hopeful Tina Jones made news Thursday with her strong statement against neighboring Davidson County’s $9 billion transit plan, “Let’s Go Nashville.”
“The transit scheme initiated by Mayor Megan Barry, before she was forced from office, is a wasteful boondoggle of epic proportions and I urge Rutherford County voters to call their family and friends in Nashville to encourage them to vote “NO” on that huge and unnecessary tax increase that will make the sales tax in Davidson County among the highest in the country,” Jones said in a statement. “Advocates of that tax increase have noted that about HALF of the tax will be paid by residents of surrounding counties, which means Rutherford county citizens will be paying a big portion of a tax increase we don’t even get to vote on!”
Turning her attention to fellow Republican State Senator Bill Kentron – who is also running Rutherford County Mayor, Jones said:
When Senator Bill Ketron voted for the gasoline tax increase as part of the IMPROVE Act, he voted to allow local tax increases like the one being considered by voters in Nashville. His support for that transit tax in Nashville, and his expressed desire to expand their transit plan into Rutherford County is a clear indication that he is planning more tax increases for us if he is elected as County Mayor. I oppose the MeganBarry/Bill Ketron transit plan and tax increase in Nashville and I oppose doing the same thing here in Rutherford County.
Ketron has previously touted his close working relationship with former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, and even accepted a donation from her campaign to his State Senate campaign. After she resigned from office Ketron claimed he was donating the tainted funds from Barry to an unnamed charity.
“Facts are facts,” Jones noted, “and Bill Ketron’s support for raising taxes on gasoline and increasing sales taxes in Nashville that will hurt Rutherford County citizens, along with his close personal relationship with scandal-plagued former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry, are just a few of the things that distinguish the two of us in both politics and policy.”
Jones’ “facts” quip echoed Ketron’s comment on a story the Murfreesboro Post ran Wednesday that reported Jones’ modest, but outstanding, tax debt – for which she declared a re-organizational bankruptcy to prevent foreclosure by the debt-holder. The court-approved arrangement allows Jones to repay the debt incurred by her late husband with the sale of the secured property to a third party.
The brewing rivalry between between Ketron and Jones could mean more fireworks as the two – plus former United Way executive Randy Allen – vie for the Republican nomination to replace outgoing Mayor Ernest Burgess.
The Early Voting period for the Rutherford County Mayoral runs April 11 through April 26. Election Day is May 1.