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Rent in Nashville may be rising, but not because of property tax hike, according to experts

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Posted at 10:17 PM, Jan 14, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the new year begins, renters are facing new leases asking for higher prices. But is Davidson County’s recent 34% property tax hike to blame?

“I think landlords would like to pass it on, but I think the reality is the market dictates what reality is,” said realtor Sean Miku and owner of simpliHŌM. He believes the tax increase has very little effect- if at all-on rent increases. “Was it a very poorly timed property tax hike increase? Absolutely. Was it done in the best manner? No. Was it necessary? I think so.”

He argues an incremental raise should have begun years ago but does not believe there’s a direct correlation between the tax increase and rising rents.

“They do have to pay it themselves and they can try to pass it on to the renters, but the question is are they going to be able to successfully do so,” said Joel Sanders, owner of Apartment Locators. Like Miku, Sanders believes only supply and demand will dictate rent prices.

Sanders said landlords who raise rents because of the tax increase may be acting on emotions. “Now the good news for those landlords is there’s a lot of people that want to live in Nashville so there’s strong demand and if there’s limited supply they may be able to raise their rents just because of that, but not because their own property taxes went up.”

He also points to the COVID vaccine and an economic pickup for further rent hikes.