Today is Sunday, August 20, 2017

A Little Vision Can Go a Long Way

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It seems like we spend a lot of time talking about how great it is to have a healthy sales tax revenue to help to keep our property taxes low. While this is true, it's not the only contributor. The 24 businesses lining the route we know as the 840 corridor bring in over $4 million a year in both real and personal property taxes, but this hasn't always been the case. It took vision, planning, preparation and a little luck to get to this point. Here's a little history of the 840 corridor and how its existence helps to keep your taxes down.

A total of 3,000 acres lies in an area surrounding the Nashville Speedway; 1,500 in Wilson County and 1,500 in Rutherford County. During that time, the Wilson County side of the 3,000 acres brought in only $1,200 of yearly property taxes; a far cry from the over $1 million we currently receive.

Infrastructure plays a huge role in any industry development, and without water and sewer lines in place it was difficult to promote growth in this area. A group of county commissioners decided to partner with the City of Lebanon to talk about how that area could be a great investment to both the city and county. It was at this point Dover Downs stepped in and purchased the entire 3,000 acres in preparation for the Nashville SuperSpeedway.

After much discussion, Dover Downs and Wilson County reached an agreement: Dover Downs would invest the $26 million needed to run water and sewer lines to the property if the county would agree to put Dover Downs property taxes towards the payment of the note. Dover Downs pays close to $1 million a year in property taxes, so that may sound like a raw deal to lose a million dollars of property taxes, but when the return is $3 million, its money well spent.

This was the start of something great. With water and sewer in place, at no cost to county taxpayers, this property suddenly became more appealing. Investors began purchasing the lots on the surrounding acreage and profiting from the existing infrastructure. Today, this property has 24 booming industries that employee over 3,600 people. Were it not for the foresight and willingness of some of our county leaders, Wilson County would be missing out on over $4 million in property taxes and we might not enjoy a lower tax rate.

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