NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The cost of food, drinks, and other purchases at businesses and restaurants on Lower Broadway in Nashville have gone up. That’s due to a tax increase to help keep downtown clean and save.

“About $5.3 million has been collected and about $4.8 million has been spent,” said Tom Turner, President and CEO of Nashville Downtown Partnership.

Turner is talking about revenue collected from a quarter percent of the 9.75 sales tax on downtown purchases like a meal, souvenir or pair of boots.

“It doesn’t apply to liquor by the drink, ticketed events, parking or hotels,” he added.

After the 2020 Christmas Day bombing of Second Avenue and COVID-19 pandemic, cleanliness and safety have become a focus for the Nashville Downtown Partnership.

“Without those services I don’t think we would be talking about clean and safe. We’d certainly be talking about dirty,” said Turner.

In addition to extra cleaning on weekends and pressure washing in the area, Turner said several million dollars collected from the sales tax goes back into security and traffic control as well.

“There is no arguing against clean and safe in any city in the world and if that is part of our brand along with great music I think we can take that,” he said.

As for the higher drink prices, Turner said they’re worth it.

“For the experience you’re getting, and the band you wouldn’t get a band like that where we are from, they are top notch,” he said.