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The Center Square [By Jon Styf] –
Metro Nashville is expected to ask for $700 million in revenue bonds that will go toward a new estimated $2.2 billion Tennessee Titans stadium, according to a report from The Tennessean.
Those bonds, as shown in Mayor John Cooper’s Capital Improvements Budget, as an expense that will be paid for “by user-generated sales tax, tourism-oriented sources such as the Hotel Occupancy Tax and related funds.”
Those bonds are expected to be paid for, in part, by Nashville’s portion of taxes for sales at the stadium and half of the taxes from sales on 130 acres planned to be developed outside the stadium. Tennessee has conceded a 5.5% sales tax at the stadium and 2.75% sales talks in the future development outside the stadium while also approving a 1 percentage point increase in a hotel-motel tax in Davidson County.
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There is no cap on the sales tax dollars that could be sent to the Metro Nashville Sports Authority stadium account but a fiscal note from the bill from March 2021 estimated the value of the state portion of taxes would max out at approximately $10 million annually, the same as the hotel-motel tax figure.
Tennessee has committed to paying $500 million, which it will request general obligation bonds for, toward the project while team ownership and an NFL loan are expected to pay $700 million toward the stadium and will be responsible for any construction overages.
The Tennessean report says that Metro Nashville will issue requests for proposal so that developers can bid on projects on the East bank.
“Investors who win their bid to build in the district will be given leases with very long terms to make up for their inability to buy the real estate,” according to the report.
The report did not clarify where the lease funds would go in the city’s budget.
“Getting it right means parks, space for the arts, affordable housing and multi-modal transportation infrastructure in service of Nashville residents — not creating another entertainment district,” Nashville Deputy Mayor Sam Wilcox told the Tennessean.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper also has a proposal for a relocated Tennessee Performing Arts Center, a performing-arts high school and a museum is in the plans, according to the report, and the mayor’s office is working on federal infrastructure grants for projects that include a new East Nashville boulevard from Nissan Stadium extending north.
About the Author: Jon Styf, The Center Square Staff Reporter – Jon Styf is an award-winning editor and reporter who has worked in Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin, Florida and Michigan in local newsrooms over the past 20 years, working for Shaw Media, Hearst and several other companies. Follow Jon on Twitter @JonStyf.