Friday, November 30, 2007

Handicapping the 'Ville

Nashville is listed in a real estate brokerage firm's list of "2008's Top 10 Industrial Markets to Watch." The list focuses on future trends rather than on current data, so this is more like a "his-mudder-was-a-mudder" prognostication. Let's also be post-Newtonian about the physics of picking certain "economic factors" over others (observing "tax incentives, low labor costs, and low utility costs" is not objective; it is biased and it effects the field observed).

On an unrelated but not unimplicated note: The salad tax-free days in Spring Hill are over and its future is cloudy. Says the Tennessean:
A nationwide housing slowdown is taking a financial toll on cities across Middle Tennessee, including this town that once thrived off money from development but now has to sell off investments to make ends meet.

Aldermen voted this week to cash out almost $900,000 in certificates of deposit to help pay the bills, and state auditors are reviewing Spring Hill's financial books looking for places to save money.
The days when "growth fees" could fund services are over with the housing slump.

Nashville has got its own problems (like the looming $1 billion price tag attached to the mortgage slump) that should factor in to whether it will actually emerge as a top 10 market beyond "tax incentive offers." However, might Nashville's brighter future have to do partially with the fact that it depends on a diverse set of revenues streams beyond growth fees? Not in places where horn-honkers are rallied to oppose any and all tax increases.

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