Thursday, June 29, 2006

Sales Tax Issues with the Music City [Convention] Center

Wage asked a critical question of members of Nashville Charrette this week regarding the convention center coalition's promotional literature on taxes. Chris's query spurred some discussion, which did not get entirely off the ground for what seems to be a lack of information. So, I'll raise Chris's question here: what is the breakdown for Nashville sales tax revenue as far as its source, residents vs. tourist dollars? I would think that only a lion's share of tourist dollars flooding back into Nashville proper would justify a new convention center.

Also important was the list administrator's response to Chris that local sales taxes--even though collected at high percentages--account for less that 20% of Metro Nashville's revenues, while property taxes account for half of all revenues. He also asks the logical question: why eat up six blocks on behalf of a non-property-tax owner, when Metro could spur mixed-use development that would bring at least twice as much revenue into Metro coffers?

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