One of the arguments against the English First referendum that's about to appear on the November ballot in Nashville is that Nashville will appear unwelcoming to the world and that will hinder businesses from moving here and tourists from visiting. I don't believe that most companies who will be conducting business with Metro Nashville will seriously refuse to come here because our council and committee meetings and official documents are being conducted in English. And really, how many tourists care about our council meetings or whether they can renew their auto tags using a form written in French?
However, what does make Nashville unwelcoming is an overall effective tax rate on a room in Nashville that is second only to Chicago at 17.18 percent.
But in a slowing economy with gas prices uncomfortably high, some economists and travelers say the overall charges applied here could make the difference when out-of-town guests are trying to decide whether to make Nashville their destination. TennesseanChannel 4's report on the story yesterday (sorry no link available) said fees for visitors average $39.00 per day! That's not very welcoming.
Oh, and just about the time we've priced ourselves out of the convention business...that new $750 million convention center will be opening.