Mayor Barry talks city’s future, property taxes, MLS, immigration

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry

Nashville’s mayor discussed her vision on the future of Nashville while speaking at a meeting for the Rotary Club.

Megan Barry talked about the city’s unprecedented growth from the downtown Wildhorse Saloon, about both the impacts and other opportunities to flourish.

She said the city issued over $3.9 billion worth of building permits just last year alone.

The mayor noted Monday that growth means increased property values of 30% to 40%. When appraisals come over the next couple of years, homeowners will pay more because their property is worth more.

So to ease the tax burden, Barry made a promise for this year.

“There will be no property tax increase. Did you hear me? Let me repeat so I don’t bury the lead,” she said. “There will not be a property tax increase this year.”

However, the mayor is asking for an increase in the storm water fee. Davidson County residents began paying the monthly fee on their water bill in 2009 for needed storm water projects. If approved, the increase would take effect in July.

Barry also talked about how she wants a Major League Soccer team.

On Tuesday she, Bill Haggerty and John Ingram are all headed to New York to meet with MLS Commissioner Don Garber and start their push for Music City to land an expansion team.

The mayor fielded questions after the rotary meeting Monday, saying the city is not part of the ownership group and she’s looking for private dollars to lead the way on the new stadium she’s pointing toward building at the fairgrounds.

“There are no renderings set. This is all about the concept, about places where we own the land that would be great to put a soccer field. All of that is to be determined, but right now we’re just focused on getting MLS to be excited about Nashville,” Barry explained.

Barry says she likes Nashville’s chances because “everybody wants to be in Nashville.”

She also touched on immigration as it’s on most people’s minds in the wake of Donald Trump’s latest ban.

The mayor said people want to come and stay in Nashville because they know they’re going to be accepted, “They’re going to be able to pursue their dreams and that’s why our city is so successful,” Barry said.

“I am not blind to the fact that immigration is on the top of mind for many of us. Executive orders signed last week are very much complicating the landscape of what city and states do and the separation of powers.”

Barry said her job is figuring out how we live our values, “adjusting to this new reality and navigating waters.”
“So I think you deserve to know where I stand.

I try not to mix religion and politics too much, but I do think it’s important to know where leaders get their core values.

My Christian faith teaches me to welcome a stranger and I believe that’s what Nashville and the United States should continue to d,” the mayor said. “We should do it because it’s right and it creates a safer and stronger America.”