economic impact

Nashville — America's "It" City in Crisis

Jul 9, 2020


Few would disagree that Nashville has been preeminent in growth and development among American cities during the past 20 years, with enviable bragging rights. The confluence of world-class entertainment, a crucible of country music, more than 20 university campuses, and proximity to New York and other major urban coastal markets has made Nashville the city of choice for companies as diverse as Toyota, Mitsubishi, General Motors, Ernst and Young, Bridgestone, numerous national hospital networks, a second home for Hollywood Celebrities, an eponymous TV series on ABC and CMT, world-class restaurants and hotels, and one of the largest convention centers of its type.

Seemingly destined for years of continued growth, Nashville suffered not one but two back-to-back crises of epic proportions. On March 2nd, 2020 an EF3 tornado devastated Nashville, affecting not only the health and safety of many residents but also leaving a swath of wreckage, destroying numerous buildings and area structures. Before the economy had time to recover, the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in a government shutdown of the city and surrounding areas. As a result, Nashville anticipates staggering revenue losses for the foreseeable future. For a city with an economy centered primarily on entertainment and tourism that depends on large groups of people gathering together, the effect of social distancing due to the COVID-19 shutdown could be catastrophic.

With no municipal reserve of funds, and revenue from sales tax all but extinguished by the recent pandemic, Nashville’s mayor, John Cooper has recently resorted to a property tax increase, proposing a 32% increase across the board for properties of all types in Davidson County. Built on sinew, ingenuity, and grit, this will likely slow but in no way prevent a resurgence for the city. But if ever there was a time for Nashville’s taxpayers and businesses to mitigate new financial burdens, this is it.

While not a total stranger to property tax appeals, the Davidson County real estate assessment practice has attracted minimal attention in Nashville’s decades of growth. Now, however, with tax rates skyrocketing, every dollar of valuation assigned to Nashville property has a magnified impact on the hospitality industry and a retail landscape that is suddenly in crisis. Unprecedented real estate growth often brings with it punishing tax increases. In an aggressive growth market, newly developed property can be overvalued, giving rise to a tax burden that’s difficult to sustain in the years immediately following construction. At the same time, many businesses and industries that laid the foundation for the real estate boom may feel the pressure to sell or move. Forced out by the success they helped create, taxpayers are in need of relief to protect their life’s work.

Fair tax treatment is vital to stabilize the economy and ensure sustained growth for years to come. With more than 35 years of experience in property tax appeals, Siegel & Callahan’s tax attorneys and tax professionals are dedicated to the aggressive pursuit of equitable tax relief. Let us show you how the collaborative insight of our internal strategic teams, commercial property lawyers, and experienced professionals can powerfully augment the success of your commercial enterprise.