As I have said before, I really hate it when I see charts and graphs that don't name their source.
I was was wandering through the website for the un-built and un-financed new convention center to see what the nice men and women who own and operate hotels in this county got for their money.
And this caught my eye:
Mmmmm. 73%? Really?
For a fleeting moment, I tried to imagine where these numbers came from. It was too graphic a mental image so I fled to the safety and sanity of Metro's 2008 CAFR. For those of you who are not budget wonks, the CAFR is our audited financials
The CAFR also has a pie chart. But it is different. (Because it is not in a form that will upload to Blogspot, I have replicated it. You are free to see the original here.)
I am pretty sure I know what they meant to say with the taxpayer funded pie chart. If you confine your analysis of our revenues to just property taxes and sales taxes, then yes, property taxes account for about 73% of the total. If you are the average person, you may not know that we get a bunch of money from the state and federal government. You probably also do not know that we get a bunch of money through sale of services like permit and zoning application fees. So, if you were the average person and you saw that pie chart your reaction would likely to be:
Holy Toledo! We better build a convention center so my property taxes won't go up!
Everyday, this government should try to do everything it can to keep taxes low. We need to look for ways to see that our revenue streams stay diverse and healthy. But, if you are inclined to support the construction of a convention center and hotel that will take the debt in this city from $1.7 billion to $2.7 billion, please do it with objective facts presented by disinterested sources. Those facts are these:
Property taxes make up about 41% of our revenue. Sales and other taxes make up about 25%. The rest of our $1.5 billion budget comes from a diverse and fairly dependable blend of federal and state money and fees and fines.
Hotel and Tourism taxes in Nashville amount to about $30 million a year. This amount represents about 2% of all revenue and 6% of sales and other tax receipts
And feel free to send my pie chart to MDHA, fee of charge.
Update: H/T Kay Brooks for providing a more colorful and legible pie chart. I removed mine and inserted hers above. Thanks Kay!