Nashville-Based Beacon Center Ranks La Vergne the Freest City in Tennessee


The City of La Vergne is the “Freest City” in all of Tennessee.

This, according to a study that Beacon Center of Tennessee staff call the City Freedom Index. Beacon staff published the study Wednesday.  Beacon, based in Nashville, is a right-of-center think tank.

“The Beacon Center says the reason La Vergne ranked in the number one spot is credit to its strong showing Free Enterprise (ranked 1 out of 30) and Cost of Government (ranked 3 out of 30),” La Vergne officials said in a press release.

According to the study, strong policies, like operating the fewest city-owned enterprises that compete with the private sector, not picking winners and losers through corporate welfare, low property taxes, and a defined contribution pension plan makes La Vergne the freest city in Tennessee. La Vergne also ranked 11 out of 30 for Private Property and Individual Liberty.

“We are so proud that through our sound policy making and budgeting decisions we are recognized as the ‘Freest City’ in Tennessee,” Mayor Jason Cole said in the press release.

“This continues to build upon the economic opportunities that we have here in La Vergne as we continue to grow retail and industry to provide jobs and shopping to our residents.”

Brentwood, Hendersonville, Morristown and Clarksville rounded out the state’s top five freest cities. According to Beacon Center officials, The City Freedom Index is their most comprehensive analysis of city policies in Tennessee.

The Index ranks Tennessee’s 30 most populous cities based on 25 metrics in four categories.

In an emailed press release, Beacon officials said that Nashville came in dead last at number 30.

Morristown, ranked fourth, was the highest-ranking city in East Tennessee, while Chattanooga finished 23rd and Knoxville 28th. Of the West Tennessee cities, Jackson ranked highest at number 14. Meanwhile, the West Tennessee cities of Memphis, Germantown, Bartlett, and Collierville all finished in the bottom six.

“After nearly a year of research, we are beyond excited to release our first-ever City Freedom Index. Thomas Jefferson once said, ‘a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny,’” said study author Ron Shultis.

“We believe that by shining a light on the various policies of Tennessee’s cities, citizens and policymakers will finally have the knowledge needed to vote with their feet, or better yet, enact real change and make their city more prosperous and free.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “La Vergne City Hall” by La Vergne City Hall.





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One Thought to “Nashville-Based Beacon Center Ranks La Vergne the Freest City in Tennessee”

  1. Robert E Roark

    A right-of-center think tank is a misnomer. The use of a left to right or right to left political spectrum is grossly misleading. It insinuates that there is a continuum of political thought from one fixed position to another fixed position. It’s the lazy way for reporters, pundits, and politicians to try to show they know what they are talking about. The discord among politicians and the current rioting throughout the country shows how ridiculous this characterization is. The terms “left” and “right” have no real meaning, so using them as descriptive words is meaningless. A more appropriate spectrum is absolute freedom to absolute tyranny, yet no one is likely to fit either of these categories. Even the rioters demanding absolutely freedom want a tyrannical government to uphold their gains. And those who support tyrannical government do not want to lose their own power. We don’t really use the right words to identify the range of political ideas, but this short hand definition needs to be abandoned because it hides the truth behind all the ideas competing to be heard.