Diane Black: Passing the $9 Billion Nashville Transit Plan Will Hurt The Tennessee Economy

Diane Black discusses the transit plan

In a weekend interview with WSMV, Rep. Diane Black (R-TN-06), a candidate for the GOP nomination for governor, said that in her opinion, passage of the $9 billion transit plan up for a public vote on Tuesday would hurt the Tennessee economy.

“It would cause the cost of living to go up substantially, and you know who this hurts? And do you know who this hurts? The low-income folks,” Black said.

Today, the Volunteer State boasts some of the lowest tax burdens in the nation, which many economists point to as the reason  why people from across the country are choosing to relocate here. But Black warns all that could change should the transit proposal pass.

“Why would we want to do something that would cause the taxes to be the number one highest tax of any city in the entire country?” she asked rhetorically.

A decade ago, voters in California passed a similar measure, with the goal to better connect the northern and southern cities in the state. However, delays, poor planning, and budget overruns have increased costs to taxpayers seven-fold.

“California has their transit system – it started out ten years ago at $10 billion,” Black noted. “It’s now over $70, and some people say by the time it finishes it will be over $100 billion. It’s the same way here.”

Instead, she told WSMV, traffic should be addressed in small increments: block by block, street by street, and on a project by project basis.

Acting Mayor Briley, on the other hand, told the NBC affiliate he has been a supporter of the proposal from the beginning because, he says:

I think we need to make an investment in transit if we want to continue to be a vibrant place economically, to be a great place to attract people from around the world to live. And I think it’s really a true opportunity for us to confront the issues of affordable housing.

Watch the segment here:

WSMV News 4


As previously reported by The Tennessee Star, voters’ opposition of the expensive plan outweighs its support by 2-to-1:

The Tennessee Star Poll of 607 likely voters in Nashville/Davidson County was conducted by Triton Research over a two day period between Thursday, April 12 and Friday, April 13 in an automated telephone (IVR) survey and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent.

When asked “If the election was held today, would you vote for or against the $9 billion Transit Plan and Tax?” poll respondents answered as follows:

62.4 percent said “Against the Transit Plan”

27.9 percent said “For the Transit Plan”

9.7 percent said “Don’t Know/Not sure”

Voter interest in the May 1 Davidson County primary election and the referendum on the transit tax was high among the 607 poll respondents, all of whom were registered voters residing in Davidson County.

Sixty-three percent of respondents said they “always vote,” 20 percent said they were “very likely” to vote on May 1, 14 percent said they were “likely” to vote on May 1, and 3 percent said they were “somewhat likely” to vote on May 1.

Early voting concluded last week, and the all-important Election Day is Tuesday.

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