Thursday, June 14, 2018

Growing Debt Blamed for Budget Shortfall

by Ben Hall, News Channel 5 - Nashville is booming, so why is there a budget shortfall? It is the

Councilman John Cooper
main question Metro Council members are getting asked as they prepare to pass a budget by the end of this month. Total revenue is up, but Metro can't fully fund schools or provide promised pay raises, leading some to say we need a property tax increase. 

Councilman-at-large John Cooper ..."the short answer is the biggest place where that went is increased debt service - that we really borrowed a lot of money,"(link)

Rod Williams Comments: Please click the link to see the video and read the rest of the story. I would have posted the video buyI hate videos that start automatically so I did not post it.

Cooper explains that while we have a lot of revenue flowing into the city a lot of it goes to pay debt. Most of the money from the hotel-motel tax goes to pay for the convention center and property taxes from several new buildings in the Gulch help pay for the Sounds Stadium.

In addition to debt which is a major culprit in metro's immediate shortfall, Metro just waste too much money. Little is being done about the abuse of the police overtime. Instead of event sponsors paying the security for numerous  events from festivals to 5K runs, the city pays for it and police rack up big overtime. This not only cost us now but for many years to come. A metro employee's retirement income is calculated on a formula that includes his income earnings in the year he earned the most income, so policemen try to rack up as much overtime as possible in the year before they retire. Another big waste is Metro's sidewalk program which spends millions on studies and consultants and replacing perfectly serviceable sidewalks but building almost no new sidewalks. Also we refuse to get out of the hospital business and funnel more and more money into the failing Metro General Hospital when it should be closed.  Also we are getting ripped off by paying exorbitant fees for management of our pension fund. We need a top to bottom line item review of every dime spend and cut out the unnecessary, the wasteful, and the misspend spending.

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