Marc Hill's Blog

RSS feed

Legislative Proposal to Unravel Metro Government Is a Bad Idea

by Marc Hill | Mar 08, 2013
The fact that Davidson County has the lowest combined property tax rate among the state’s four largest cities is proof that Metro has delivered on its promise to make government more efficient. So why would legislators want to undermine this progress?

This week in the Tennessee Legislature, a bill passed out of the House Local Government Subcommittee that would undo much of the government efficiency that has been created in Davidson County over the past 50 years under our metropolitan form of government. When the city of Nashville and Davidson County governments merged to form one metro government in 1963, the existing smaller cities such as Belle Meade, Berry Hill, Goodlettsville, Forest Hills, and Oak Hill were preserved and were allowed to keep delivering the city services they provided at the time of the city/county merger. That’s why Belle Meade, Berry Hill and Goodlettsville continue to operate a separate police force, in addition to the Metropolitan Police Department. But once Metro was formed, these satellite cities were not allowed to create new city services that were going to be provided by Metro. After all, the driving force behind the creation of Metro was to create a more efficient and cost-effective government.

HB1204/SB1285, as originally drafted, would allow satellite cities in future metropolitan governments to continue adding government services such as police, fire, jail, courts and public works. The bill was passed out of subcommittee by a voice vote on March 6 with an amendment that made the legislation apply to all existing metropolitan governments, including Nashville’s. This bill, in its current form, would encourage the expansion and duplication of government within Davidson County.

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce opposes HB1204/SB1285 because we advocate for a predictable business environment and oppose burdensome government regulation. We also want to make sure our local tax rates are competitive with other jurisdictions. Chamber members can use Middle Tennessee Business Voice to share concerns about this legislation with members of the House Local Government Committee, as well as the bill sponsors: Rep. David Alexander (Winchester), Rep. Joe Carr (Lascassas) and Sen. Jim Tracy (Shelbyville).

Category: Legislative Issues


  1. 3 Laura McCoy 11 Mar
    Local schools should be under local control. Those dealing with the day-to-day issues are best in touch with the needs of the school system. This legislation feels punitive - not a good way to make laws. I'm disappointed in this stance by the Chamber. 
  2. 2 Anthony Davis, Metro Council 10 Mar
    I would be willing to listen to any concerns or issues from our smaller city governments within Metro. Haven't heard a single one. Nobody from the Davidson delegation carrying this, nobody from Metro Council even notified, all of a sudden Reps from Rutherford introduce this? Not a good bill, you don't have to get very far out on a limb to realize that....
  3. 1 Tom lawless 08 Mar
    It is interesting that the small cities almost uniformally appear to be pushing  legislation seeking equality in Davison County. The extraordinary measure being employed by the small cities seems to clearly give an indication that issues exist and open discussions between the cities has not been fruitful. Respecttfully it might perhaps be a better position for the Chamber to gather facts before espousing a position pro or con on an issue rather then parroting the Administration's position.