Metro Council proposal links development deals to affordable housing

Posted: 6:27 PM, Dec 31, 2018
Updated: 2019-01-02 11:49:59-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Councilman Fabian Bedne wants to provide a boost to Nashville's Affordable Housing fund by connecting part of its funding to tax deals Metro Nashville gives certain corporations.

Metro Nashville has handed out those tax breaks to several companies -- recently including Amazon -- as an incentive to bring new corporations to Nashville, or keep current corporations here.

Bedne says his proposal is meant to ensure that Nashville's most vulnerable neighbors also benefit when the city hands out tax breaks to lure big businesses.

For any tax break granted to a corporation, Bedne's proposal would require Metro to contribute an equal amount to the city's affordable housing fund, known as the Barnes fund.

That money would be used to build new affordable housing projects, but also to give out smaller grants for fixer uppers for those living on a fixed income.

Bedne says the affordable housing fund contributions would help alleviate the added pressure on the housing market created by new employees the corporations bring to the Nashville area.

"If you want to do an incentive, you also need to think about the social impact created by that incentive to the rest of the city," Bedne said.

The Metro Council will first take up Bedne's proposal on Thursday.

Correction: An earlier version of this article misidentified Metro's Amazon tax incentive deal as Tax Increment Financing, or TIF. While Metro did offer Amazon tax incentives amounting to $15 million over seven years, the deal was not specifically a part of Tax Increment Financing.