National News

Diane Black believes transit plan would hurt Tennessee's economy

Posted April 30, 2018 8:46 a.m. EDT

— We are less than two days away from the biggest referendum Music City has seen in decades.

One of the Republican gubernatorial candidates sat down with News4 to talk about "Let's Move Nashville."

Congressman Diane Black says if voters say yes, the plan would short-circuit Tennessee's economy.

"It would cause the cost of living to go up substantially, and you know who this hurts? The low-income folks," said Black.

She believes one of the biggest reasons people have flocked to Middle Tennessee is because the overall tax burden is among the lowest in the nation.

"Since Nashville is doing so well, why would we want to do something to cause our taxes to be number one of the highest taxed of any city the country?"

The projected costs of the transit plan range from $6 billion to $9 billion.

"[In] California, it started out with its transit system 10 years ago at $10 billion. It's now over $70 [billion]. Some will say it will end up over $100 [billion]. It's the same way here," explained Black.

Black says instead, traffic should be addressed in small increments on a block-by-block, street-by-street and project-by-project basis.

Nashville Mayor David Briley has a different take.

"I've been a supporter of it from the get-go," said Briley. "The majority of new economic activity is taking place in our cities. In our cities, we have to build out transit networks that don't exist for us to be economically successful."

A series of debates have taken place leading up to early voting. Those on both sides of the issue say communities have come out strong to learn more about the plans and educate themselves.