By a vote of 30 to seven, Metro Nashville Council members passed a nearly half a billion dollar Capital Spending Plan this week, although At-Large Council Member Steve Glover warned that his colleagues acted without caution.
This, after Metro officials already imposed a 34 percent to 37 percent tax increase on residents.
“They never have any meaningful conversations. They’ve decided there is enough money there. The finance director for Metro says our bond rating is fine, even though now our debt has climbed to almost 16 percent of our operating budget. There is no need for us to talk about this. We have plenty of money. Why do we have plenty of money? Because we raised taxes 34 percent to 37 percent,” Glover told The Tennessee Star Wednesday about other Metro Council members.
“At some point Nashville better wake up. You have got to stop electing these kinds of people. They do not have your best interests at heart. They pretend like they do. They will say people pay taxes and expect all of this infrastructure. They expected us to be good stewards of their money for many, many years, and we let them down year after year after year. Instead of being good stewards of their money, all we do is we wrack up a bigger tab, and we pay it off with their credit cards and then we start charging again.”
The remaining 40 members of the Metro Council did not return requests for comment before Wednesday’s stated deadline.
Mayor John Cooper, in an emailed press release, praised council members and said their “vote resoundingly affirms our plan to invest in Nashville’s future.”
“This is a hopeful moment in our city. We are making the largest-ever investments in our schools and improving transportation in Nashville’s neighborhoods,” Cooper said in the press release.
“We will also invest in the essentials every growing city needs: creating affordable housing, making Nashville more sustainable and livable and modernizing our emergency response infrastructure. After stabilizing the city’s finances, Nashville is getting back on track and investing in our future.”
Glover, though, warned that if Metro Council members repeat these patterns then Nashville residents could expect between a 26 to 38 percent property tax increase every three to four years.
As The Star reported Monday, Glover suggested alternative ways to manage the city’s budget.
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