Nashville’s 34 percent property tax increase is the “Pork of the Year,” according to the Beacon Center of Tennessee’s annual Pork Report, which the organization released Tuesday.
Staff at the Beacon Center of Tennessee say that their annual Tennessee Pork Report reveals millions of dollars in government waste, fraud, and abuse.
Beacon is a right-of-center think tank.
“At a time when Nashville is among the hottest cities in the country and has skyrocketing tax revenue, the city is somehow still in massive debt,” according to a press release that the Nashville-based Beacon emailed Tuesday.
“Instead of making the changes necessary to fix the problem, such as reforming its unbelievably generous city pension system, enacting a spending cap, or getting rid of the egregious lifetime health insurance benefits for Council members, the mayor and City Council raised taxes on hard-working Nashvillians while making absolutely no sacrifices themselves.”
Representatives for Nashville Mayor John Cooper did not return The Tennessee Star’s request for comment Tuesday.
Beacon staff, in their report, also said that finance guru Dave Ramsey accepted $2 million in tax money to expand his headquarters in Franklin. As reported last year, Ramsey hosts his nationally-syndicated radio talk show from a new facility there.
Ramsey’s staff did not return a request for comment Tuesday.
Other 2020 Pork Report entries included:
• The city of Chattanooga spent more than $6 million on unused street lights.
• The city of Knoxville and Knox County bailing out Zoo Knoxville, an entity that Beacon staff said shouldn’t have accepted public funding in the first place.
• The Memphis EDGE board used tax dollars to fund the NBC television series Bluff City Law, which the network later cancelled.
This is the 15th such report that Beacon has published.
As The Star reported last year, the 2019 Tennessee Pork Report cited various examples of waste, fraud, and abuse, including Graceland’s veiled threats to move out of Memphis, which landed the property $75 million in tax dollars. Another example — officials in the financially-strapped city of Nashville giving millions of dollars to Amazon and the NFL draft.
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