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Tax migration from the Tennessean

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Article about migration from Davidson County:

http://www.tennessean.com/apps/pbcs.dll/ar...S0202/608090411

Basically this article tries to say that Ben Cunnigham is wrong, that people don't move out of Davidons due to higher taxes. They say property taxes in other area communities prove Ben wrong. What does Ben use to support his stance? Well, statistics for one, and 2 - PERSONAL EXPERIENCE! People like me tell him we leave town for the lower cost of living

Ben has got it right. People do leave Davidon County because of the higher taxes as compared to Mt. Juliet, Smyrna, La Vergne, and Hendersonville. The Tennessean compares Nashville to Murfreesboro and Clarksville, but the two aren't really close enough to downtown to compare. Thoughts?

A few other thoughts to support my opinion:

I left Davidson in large part due to higher taxes. I am maybe 5 minutes further from work than if I lived in South Antioch

People who leave Davidson for Williamson may not necesarily have much lower taxes, but they get more amenities for their dollar

Taxes are too high in Murfreesboro.

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Ok.....I don't know Nashville that well, but these issues always get me asking additional questions.

#1. You say you live 5 minutes farther from work, which I translate into about 3 miles, so, you drive 6 miles further a day, 250 days a year, or 1,500 miles a year.

#2. The federal government assumes it costs about $0.42 a mile to operate a car this year, which means you spend about $650 extra a year on a car by living further from your job.

Question.....do you save this much in taxes a year? It's possible I suppose.

#3. 10 extra mintues a day, 250 days a year is 2,500 mintues, or 41 hours a year. Assuming a reasonable professional wage is $20/hour on average, this translates into $820 per year (I for one, would rather be working that driving) in lost wages.

#4. The rate of suburban tax rate growth in almost every city in the country is far greater than the core city/county rate growth. This means, that the competitive advantage of living further out decreases on a yearly basis. Add to this, worsening traffic, and the costs and additional time spent commuting increase.

MULTIPLY ALL OF THE ABOVE BY TWO FOR TWO WAGE EARNER HOUSEHOLDS.

After all that, the biggest factor that most people don't recognize is house value appreciation.

#5. Assuming you are living in a new neighborhood, until all phases of the neighborhood are built out, most houses in a new neighborhood experience <2% and often time negative appreciation, due to a large supply of new housing in the same community. Compare this to established areas, in which I'm sure in Nasvhille are appreciating at at least at 5%, and you have a MINIMUM 3% difference in annual equity accumulation.

In other words, on a $225k house (national average), you are have gained $6,000 LESS in equity by living on the suburban fringe, and of course this difference grows exponentioally until the new community is "built-out".

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You are forgetting 2 factors: 1- the same house in an urban neighboorhood compared to a suburban neightboorhood is typically more expensive, and 2- you aren't using current tax appraisals so it's not a fair comparison.

I'll give you an example. When my wife and I bought our first house several years ago, we looked at 2 houses. 1 was in Donelson, the other in La Vergne. The house in Donelson was 950 square feet, 2 beds, 2 bahs. The house in La Vergne was 1250 square feet, 3 beds, 2 baths. The house in La Vergne COST THE SAME as the house in Donelson.

The house in La Vergne was in a new neighboorhood (Lake Forest Estates). We lived there for 2 years, sold the house, and profited 20%. That neighboorhood is still under development, so I don't know where you get your rate of a 2% decline.

I won't say La Vergne is the perfect example of a suburb, but it is what it is.

Something else you aren't considering. If I lived in Davidson county near Bell road, how much MORE time would I spend idling in traffic and congestion, and burning gas?

Add tele-commuters to the mix and there just aren't enough reasons for me to live in Davidson county (again, reffering more to the outlying area's, not the core area. That's apples and oranges).

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A huge part of it comes down to schools and not taxes although the issues are related. Many of the facilities in Davidson are falling into disrepair. It seems a year doesn't go by when Rutherford or Williamson aren't opening new middle and high schools or renovating older ones.

Southern Davidson seems to be growing fine, and the core will have several thousand new residents (not sure where the majority are coming from though) in the next few years.

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Taxes are higher in Davidon County (I pay the highest rate in d'town) and they went up the last year we moved in town (bummer). I do think a referendum is the solution. Educate the voters and then let the make an informed decision.

The thing that reallyscares me (and would make me consider moving out of town to Brentwood) is if teh Metro Council gives taxing authority to the school board as they have been requesting. They have NO self-control and would likely dramatically and/or frequently raise taxes.

The schools are subpar unles you get in a magnate school via lottery (somehow a lot of public school teachers kids win a spot) so we send our two boys to private school.

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This thread is the same "Republican," anti-taxes rhetoric that we hear everyday. I live downtown in a condo, use many of Metro's services (parks, libraries, roads, etc.), and could care less about what I pay in taxes. I've yet to understand the passion behind this tired argument. Instead of complaining about thug-ridden schools and higher taxes, do something about it--volunteer for metro schools, run for metro gov't, pick up trash . . . hell, even feed the homeless.

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This thread is the same "Republican," anti-taxes rhetoric that we hear everyday. I live downtown in a condo, use many of Metro's services (parks, libraries, roads, etc.), and could care less about what I pay in taxes.

Bully for you. Most people actually DO care what they pay in taxes, nevermind how it is criminally squandered by politicians on statist and failed projects... especially public schools.

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The crappy schools in metro are an excellent point as well; I mean, what are you paying so much extra for anyway?

I absolutely care how much my taxes are. Think about it this way, If you want to buy a shirt from Old Navy,

you are taxed on the money you earn to buy the shirt,

you are taxed on the car you use to drive to Old Navy,

you are taxed on the gas you have to put into your car,

you are taxed once you purchase the shirt,

and if you die while you still own that shirt, YOUR HEIRS ARE TAXED FOR IT'S VALUE!!!!

and all those taxes just for one stinkin shirt? Brownhound, if you don't care about how high taxes are, can I mail you my income tax bill this next year?

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Don't you care about paying higher taxes? Is it so odd or selfish to be concerned about the percentage of your earned income that is taken? I think it is foolish not to be concerned.

They government will take and take and then when it hits opposition it will take some more.

Why would I volunteer for a school system that I do not believe has the children's best interest at heart?

Feed the homeless? If you read the homeless thread you will see that they are getting a better offer that most lower-middle income residents of our fair city.

Pay all the taxes you want without a peep, feed whoever you want but count me out.

This thread is the same "Republican," anti-taxes rhetoric that we hear everyday. I live downtown in a condo, use many of Metro's services (parks, libraries, roads, etc.), and could care less about what I pay in taxes. I've yet to understand the passion behind this tired argument. Instead of complaining about thug-ridden schools and higher taxes, do something about it--volunteer for metro schools, run for metro gov't, pick up trash . . . hell, even feed the homeless.

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A school system that doesn't have our children's best interests? I entirely disagree. I think a large problem that goes unchecked today is the horrible parenting that takes place--apathy, a lack of values, a disrespect for learning and discovering new ideas. Why hold teachers entirely responsible for our children's upbringing? Indeed, they should educate and be passionate about what they do, but ultimately, the students' parents are foremost responsible for the state of education not only in metro, but in Tennessee and elsewhere in the nation.

As for taxes--again you complain! Do something; don't moan! Run for office! Volunteer as a tutor! Start a grassroots anti-tax delegation! But to complain ad naseum? Blah!

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As for taxes--again you complain! Do something; don't moan! Run for office! Volunteer as a tutor! Start a grassroots anti-tax delegation! But to complain ad naseum? Blah!

It's too easy to set behind the computer and say that to someone. Have you ever thought about running yourself??? You seem to have noproblem telling someone else to, have you done any of these things you mention???

I'm not trying to be a butt, but it is far too easy to set on your ocmputer and say, "if you don't like it, change it" over and over again.

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I live downtown in a condo, use many of Metro's services (parks, libraries, roads, etc)

Thus, the recipiant of socialist hand-outs if often in favor of the government programs and higher taxes, being positioned as they are to receive a disproportionate share of the spoils. They look at the free market with fear and misgivings, realizing that absent the state sanctioned re-distribution of wealth, it is unlikely they would be able to provide goods & services to the community that would create adequate revenue for them to enjoy the same lifestyle.

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I just want t chime in and agree with brownhound. I dont mind taxes, yet I am not going to run for office or feed the homeless, and I'm sure not going to tell anyone else to. I simply know that for a certain percentage of my income, I am afforded the most care-free, and least restricted lifestyle on earth. I might be taxed enough that I cannot afford the expendable things that I desire, but these things tend to only incure more fee's and desires.

I am NOT pro-government or pro-taxes, I simply enjoy the free things in life. Free parks, free schools, FREE ROADS! Once they are paid for by my small contribution, I don't have to pay to use them. Sub-standard.....maybe? Easily accesible...definately. The best approach for equality...who knows?

I definately think that our politicians should be carefully monitored with our funds, and our "checks and balances" should be taken more seriously. However, if everyone spent every penny they earned as they pleased, is it resonable to think that we would all make a "responsible" contribution to society?

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It's too easy to set behind the computer and say that to someone. Have you ever thought about running yourself??? You seem to have noproblem telling someone else to, have you done any of these things you mention???

I'm not trying to be a butt, but it is far too easy to set on your ocmputer and say, "if you don't like it, change it" over and over again.

I have no problem with the status quo. I have nothing to change! If I don't like something, however, I'll work to make amends.

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Thus, the recipiant of socialist hand-outs . . .

I don't receive handouts; I'm a professional with three degrees who works quite hard! I really don't have a problem with what I receive for what I pay. My two cents. I will, however, work tirelessly to remedy any iniquity I might see rather than gripe incessantly a la Phil Valentine!

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Brownhound

The Metro schools (and most public schools) are in business for the teachers union and personal fifedoms throughout local gov't. If they truley wanted to educate children they would not stand for the status quo which EVERONE agrees is failing by every measure. Teachers and administrators should be the ones leading this change but instead they and their union cronies are the biggest obstacle to change.

You say parents need to step-up, I agree 100% but give those parents that are trying to step-up the tools they need to improve the system. What could these tools be? Well ofcourse school choice or vouchers. Competition is not a bad word, in fact the ole' US of A has done quite well with competition and choice. It is past time for this right of school choice (which the upper class has always enjoyed) to be available to the middle ad lower class parents.

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A school system that doesn't have our children's best interests? I entirely disagree. I think a large problem that goes unchecked today is the horrible parenting that takes place--apathy, a lack of values, a disrespect for learning and discovering new ideas. Why hold teachers entirely responsible for our children's upbringing? Indeed, they should educate and be passionate about what they do, but ultimately, the students' parents are foremost responsible for the state of education not only in metro, but in Tennessee and elsewhere in the nation.

As for taxes--again you complain! Do something; don't moan! Run for office! Volunteer as a tutor! Start a grassroots anti-tax delegation! But to complain ad naseum? Blah!

I do not live in nashville however I was a teacher for a bit and you are right, parenting skills have gone the way of the wholly mammoth. However if you think teachers and school administration arent to blame for curriculum and quality of service then you are extremely mistaken. however your ponit about people getting involved is 100% right. People need to get off their arses and join the PTA, they need to take these principles and School super intendents to task if the school sucks. the excuse "im to tired after work to do any of this" means anyone in that category forfeits their right to complain!!!!

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Brownhound

The Metro schools (and most public schools) are in business for the teachers union and personal fifedoms throughout local gov't. If they truley wanted to educate children they would not stand for the status quo which EVERONE agrees is failing by every measure. Teachers and administrators should be the ones leading this change but instead they and their union cronies are the biggest obstacle to change.

You say parents need to step-up, I agree 100% but give those parents that are trying to step-up the tools they need to improve the system. What could these tools be? Well ofcourse school choice or vouchers. Competition is not a bad word, in fact the ole' US of A has done quite well with competition and choice. It is past time for this right of school choice (which the upper class has always enjoyed) to be available to the middle ad lower class parents.

To be honest you don't need choice or vouchers. Teachers need to become more sophisticated. They need to form movements if you will. THey need to go to news papers when things arent right, they need to demand meetings, they need to start going over peoples heads and writing to peoples bosses in mass when certain schools arent performing. Make a stink and be obnoxious about it. I was in the education field for roughly two years and I can tell you, out of the many schools i had a chance to see/be a part of, I can tell you, the ones in those rich areas where mom was stay at home and had nothing better to do than to make the life of school officials hell, those were the ones with awesome programs and better test scores.

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I see a clear distinction between liberals and conservatives: liberals whine and conservatives complain.

But as for our schools, there are a large number of problems other than "just" unions:

(1) teachers have very little control over their professional career paths and must fight for just a meager cost of living increase in their wage--they can't bargain for a better salary--even if they are the best teacher in the district.

(2) school boards need to be run by two sets of people: (1) business folks who know how to manage money, and (2) curriculum specialists who know how to teach and what to teach. To let those with no expertise in either matter run our children's lives is, frankly, ridiculous.

(3) although vouchers might offer some hope, the students left behind at poor schools will suffer even more: low morale, terrible teachers, etc.

(4) every parent must get involved with his/her child's school--if for only five hours per school year.

(5) students need to be held accountable for their shortcomings--we too easily criticize teacher for our student's inability to learn, but going to school is a lot like going to the doctor: if you don't do what's requested of you, then you'll never get better.

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BH

I love ALL your ideas but the status quo will not change as long as the powers that be have a vested interest in the current model.

I agree that some of the teachers are getting a raw deal as their union must negotiate on behalf of all the members including the non-productive. The efficient skilled teacher doe not get his/her due. But the reason is not that there is not enough money. The reason is the union protects all the bad teachers.

As far as the salary goes it is not that bad. They work less that 9 months a year and have much better insurance and benefits (can you say pension) than 80% of the private sector. They start out at $35K so extrapolate that over 12 monhs and you are at $50K. My mother in-law makes $60K in Metro schools (20 plus years) and can retire with a full pension and health coverage at any time.

I agree that parents and teachers and stdents need to be held accountable. Vouchers will accomplish that with the teachers by forcing schools that do not perform to close. I am not sure how you enforce that with parents and studens.

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You are forgetting 2 factors: 1- the same house in an urban neighboorhood compared to a suburban neightboorhood is typically more expensive, and 2- you aren't using current tax appraisals so it's not a fair comparison.

I'll give you an example. When my wife and I bought our first house several years ago, we looked at 2 houses. 1 was in Donelson, the other in La Vergne. The house in Donelson was 950 square feet, 2 beds, 2 bahs. The house in La Vergne was 1250 square feet, 3 beds, 2 baths. The house in La Vergne COST THE SAME as the house in Donelson.

The house in La Vergne was in a new neighboorhood (Lake Forest Estates). We lived there for 2 years, sold the house, and profited 20%. That neighboorhood is still under development, so I don't know where you get your rate of a 2% decline.

I won't say La Vergne is the perfect example of a suburb, but it is what it is.

Something else you aren't considering. If I lived in Davidson county near Bell road, how much MORE time would I spend idling in traffic and congestion, and burning gas?

Add tele-commuters to the mix and there just aren't enough reasons for me to live in Davidson county (again, reffering more to the outlying area's, not the core area. That's apples and oranges).

Why did you move from La Vergne ?

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I am NOT pro-government or pro-taxes, I simply enjoy the free things in life. Free parks, free schools, FREE ROADS! Once they are paid for by my small contribution, I don't have to pay to use them. Sub-standard.....maybe? Easily accesible...definately. The best approach for equality...who knows?

L...O....L...!!! I like your summary comment: "Who knows?". Indeed! Who would know?

Well, I do for one, and you're not going to like the answer: NO!

No, taxes are not the most equitable way to pay for public parks. User fees are the most equitable way to pay for parks. That way you don't end up with a situation like we have in this thread: A few well positioned beneficiaries of socialist hand-outs (free park usage), who proudly declare "I like free parks", when we all know that nothing is free, and somone paid for the parks and maintenance. It just so happens that you didn't pay your fair share of the parks because someone else was forced to pay it for you.

No, taxes are not the most equitable way to pay for schools. The parents of the students should pay for schools because they are the ones benefiting from it. If everyone is paying for schools, and everyone uses schools, then it will all work out the same if instead of taxes, each family just pays tuition (and all schools were made private), right? I mean, surely you're not advocating that even people without kids should pay for schools, are you? :D

No, taxes are not the most equitable way to pay for roads, tolls would be better. That way someone who uses a fancy multi-lane highway would be paying the fancy multi-lane prices, and a granny driving on White Bridge Road would be paying the lower White Bridge Road price.

One more thing, I love this sentence: "Once they are paid for by my small contribution, I don't have to pay to use them". This sums up very well the un-spoken motivation behind your support of government run parks and roads: You practically admit in this sentance that the market value of the benefit you receive in park usage is greater than the small price you're paying in taxes. Clearly, no consideration is given to those who live far from parks or are too elderly or handicaped to reach or use them easily.

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I don't receive handouts; I'm a professional with three degrees who works quite hard! I really don't have a problem with what I receive for what I pay.

Oh, I'm sure you don't have a problem with what you receive - and it sounds like you're very well educated. Please tell us all how you've used your superior intellect to exactly calculate the market value of the park and library services you've received, and also tell us how you've calculated the fraction of your metro taxes that relate to these two items, and also please tell us how these two numbers compare to each other.

I'm saying it right now: You do receive handouts in the form of highly discounted park and library usage fees. It is a foregone conclusion! Why do I say this? Becaue if all the people in nashville who paid for parks also used those parks, you'd have thousands of people crammed into parks that suddenly seem extremely small and useless. If people were willing to pay the market value for the park services they receive then you would see privately operated parks opening up all over nashville. It is only because public park services are offered below market price that you find yourself marveling at the great bargain you're getting. And the method by which they are provided below market price to you is by taxing everybody in the county, with the knowledge that only a few people can or will use the parks.

If every person in Davidson county went to the library as much as (it sounds like) you do, every book would be checked out. I *seriously* doubt the total number of davidson county tax payers = the total number of people engaged in active library usage. And if if does not equal, then the people (like you) who do happen to use them are receiving a disproportionate benefit compared what they've paid.....a handout.

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Oh, I'm sure you don't have a problem with what you receive - and it sounds like you're very well educated. Please tell us all how you've used your superior intellect to exactly calculate the market value of the park and library services you've received, and also tell us how you've calculated the fraction of your metro taxes that relate to these two items, and also please tell us how these two numbers compare to each other.

I'm saying it right now: You do receive handouts in the form of highly discounted park and library usage fees. It is a foregone conclusion! Why do I say this? Becaue if all the people in nashville who paid for parks also used those parks, you'd have thousands of people crammed into parks that suddenly seem extremely small and useless. If people were willing to pay the market value for the park services they receive then you would see privately operated parks opening up all over nashville. It is only because public park services are offered below market price that you find yourself marveling at the great bargain you're getting. And the method by which they are provided below market price to you is by taxing everybody in the county, with the knowledge that only a few people can or will use the parks.

If every person in Davidson county went to the library as much as (it sounds like) you do, every book would be checked out. I *seriously* doubt the total number of davidson county tax payers = the total number of people engaged in active library usage. And if if does not equal, then the people (like you) who do happen to use them are receiving a disproportionate benefit compared what they've paid.....a handout.

yawn.

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