From yesterday's Tennessean:
"The [Music City Center] debate centers on a simple question: Can the city afford the most expensive project in its history, particularly in these tough economic times?Ya think?? Add that $2.3 billion to the $1.3 TRILLION the Obama administration also has us co-signing for (not to include the $1 TRILLION health care bill) and we have become indentured servants --not taxpayers.
Metro had about $2.3 billion in debt at the end of the 2007-08 budget year, including $1.7 billion in obligations to be repaid with property tax revenues. The city's debt has grown by about $650 million over the past decade.
The convention center project would add at least as much money to the debt load in one year. Critics said that could put Metro in a tough position."
And you just have to love the part where the debt is being repaid over 30 years...but there are no guarantees the MCC will be useful for 30 years. The Nashville Convention Center only lasted us 20 years. Does this feel like a 'fleece agreement' or whole life insurance to anyone else? All the money is made up front by a few and the rest of us are left holding the debt for an aging facility that drops in value the moment we drive it off the lot. If this is such a great deal...let them use their own money--not ours.
From earlier in the article: "That [debt] would make it extremely difficult to build schools, renovate libraries or reinforce bridges."
Have you seen how badly maintained many of our schools are? Do you remember that new storm water bill you just got to pay again for what was supposed to have been repaired years ago? Do you want your hard earned dollars (those of you currently fortunate enough to be earning dollars) committed to your family's welfare or as a 'backstop' for the financing of an unnecessary tourist destination? We do need infrastructure upgrades. We do need major repairs to many of our public schools, we do need public safety equipment. Most of all we need city planners and policy makers who are willing to lift their gaze from the downtown core and its "urban vitality" and look around at the whole rest of the county where there are more than enough legitimate needs that need immediate attention.