Increased sales tax in Downtown Nashville aimed at improving cleanliness, safety

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The sales tax will be increasing in Downtown Nashville to help pay for more cleaning and safety.

The resolution titled RS2021-965 adds to the business development fund, which already exists. That means an increase of a quarter of a percent on the sales tax for some goods and services within the boundaries of the Downtown Central Business Improvement District.

Metro council members said this is implementing a law approved by the legislature and signed by Governor Bill Lee last month.

The money will be used for enhanced trash pick-up and related services. It will also focus on safety that includes elements of social services.

Metro Council Member Freddie O’Connell sponsored the bill, which was approved during Tuesday’s council meeting. His district, 19, includes Downtown Nashville.

“Looking at the resurgence of the tourist economy downtown has already just since we’ve watched the change in public health orders, overwhelmed some of the capacity of existing public works service levels and the Nashville downtown partnership is able to do some amount but this will more or less create a dedicated fund,” O’Connell said.

The following are exempt from the new increase:

  • Professional services
  • Lodging provided to transients
  • Tickets to sporting events or other live ticketed events
  • Alcoholic beverages which are subject to the liquor by the drink tax in addition to sales tax
  • Newspapers and other publications
  • Overnight and long-term parking

The legislation also created an advisory committee of retail business operators regarding the use of the additional fee. O’Connell said the fee is expected to generate about $2.4 million in its first year and will go into effect July first.

Read full legislation HERE.

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