A report highlighted by the Rutherford County Property Assessor's office indicates that a past decision out of Davidson County will drive more residents into Rutherford County. This information comes shortly after Nashville residents learned that Davidson County is in the hole with finances and a new property tax increase is being proposed.
Of course, most cities across the nation are experiencing revenue issues, but these issues are only short term due to the recent COVID-19 Pandemic. However, it appears that Davidson County money woes were created quite some time ago and are continuing.
One year ago, the Tennessee Comptroller sent a letter to former Nashville Mayor David Briley who took over the reins after past Mayor Megan Barry resigned in 2018. The letter voiced concern over Metro's finances after a new budget was created.
In December of 2019, the 2020 budget for Nashville was approved by the state after considerable debate over a $41.5 million budget gap. This issue has been surprising to residents because Nashville is one of the fastest growing cities in America.
Evidently, in 2017 the Metro Council failed to properly set their property tax rate after a property reappraisal. The failure has continued to cause major financial problems for the city, despite all the growth.
To highlight the issue, current Nashville Mayor John Cooper is proposing a massive property tax increase during a time that businesses are closing and job loss is at an all-time high due to COVID-19 mandated closures. If such an increase is implemented, it has been speculated by neighboring counties and cities that many residents will quickly exit Nashville in search of lower property taxes which equal lower monthly housing costs.
Cooper is calling for property tax rates to move from $3.155 to $4.155 in the Urban Service District. Outlying areas of Davidson County would see their home property tax go from $2.755 to $3.755.
For a home appraising at $300,000 in the Urban Service District of Davidson County, residents would see their annual taxes go from $2,366.25 annually to $3,116.25. In the outlying areas of the county, residents would see a jump from $2,066.25 annually to $2,816.25 annually.
The taxes would hit commercial properties much harder in Nashville.
For example, if a commercial business is valued at $1,000,000 or if a business owns three locations valued at $1,000,000 in the Urban Service District of Davidson County, that business would go from paying $12,620 annually in property taxes to $16,620 annually in property taxes. A $4,000 difference for a small business barely making it after the COVID-19 Pandemic could put a small business owner out of business, which will equal even more job loss.
Rutherford County Growth Vs. Davidson County:
Currently, Rutherford County growth is outpacing Davidson County by 13.2%, according to information that Rutherford County Property Assessor Rob Mitchell sent to WGNS NEWS on Tuesday (5/12/2020).
Between 2010 and 2018, Rutherford County had a population change of 23.7% (62,286 new residents). During that same time period, Davidson County saw a 10.5% increase in population (65,906 new residents).
Mass Exit Out of Nashville:
Although unlikely, if a mass exodus happened in Nashville and their 10.5% population increase turns into a 0.2% decrease, the city would say goodbye to nearly 1,389 residents and zero growth.
If Rutherford County picked up the growth that Nashville has and saw their current growth go from 23.7% to 34.2%, then Rutherford County would see their population grow from 332,285 residents (2019) to 445,926 residents.
Such growth was never planned to happen so soon in Rutherford County, but if a massive property tax hike happens 20 minutes down the road from Murfreesboro - we could be in store for big changes.