After being featured in the New York Times as the “It” city, things seem to have been going backwards for Nashville. You would think that a feature like that would only help increase the standards and the quality of life in this city. The truth is, it did, for quite a while. Tourism was flourishing and people from all over the USA made decisions to move to Nashville. As you can see here, it was for good reasons that the capital of Tennessee stopped being just a regular city and was recognized for the things it had to offer.

The reputation of being a “country music city” previously had people turning their heads in a different direction on the mere mention of Nashville. It wasn’t as if the capital wasn’t trying to establish itself as something more than that. It was simply that the people’s mindsets were wired towards thinking that Nashville didn’t have much to offer, despite the continuous efforts that it put into promoting itself. Things definitely took a different turn after a while and the reputation as a country music city was kept and embraced, but there were much more things that people began to recognize in this place.

For a while, everything went smoothly. The musical heritage was not the only thing that was going on for Nashville. As I have already mentioned, being recognized as the “It” city led towards a change in the people’s mindsets. Everyone started thinking of it as a “cool” place, which was a great thing for tourism. It was also a great thing for the overall population of the Tennessee capital, since people were suddenly eager to live there.

Where Did It Go Wrong?

All good things come to an end, don’t they? Soon after these changes occurred, the people of Nashville realized what it meant to be a tourism-based economy. It’s all nice and beautiful, until it isn’t. It instills pride in the citizens, until it stops doing that. Being labeled this way has led to Nashville getting more tourists per year than it could possibly hold, which doesn’t sound good either when said out loud, or when put on paper.

What did this mean for Nashville? It meant that it had to step up its game and make sure to live up to the expectations that were now instilled upon it. Nobody can say that the expectations weren’t met in one way or another. Funds were rapidly diverted towards various developments and all of those developments were aimed at making the tourists feel at home. What about the residents, though?

If you ask the residents about all of this, you will probably see that their opinions are divided, much like the city itself is divided. Nobody knew what the label “It” city would bring about such detrimental changes. While some people have deemed the label completely meaningless and inconsequential, others have quickly started resenting it. As years went by, some people have even started forgetting what Nashville looked and felt like before all the fame and the prominence. They have started forgetting who they really were.

Here’s a quick reminder and an overview of the life before and after the “It”: https://www.nashvillescene.com/news/cover-story/article/21069569/rip-it-city

Where did it all go wrong? That is, if it did go wrong in any way? If you have an open and sincere conversation with anyone who has at least dipped their toe in the politics of the Tennessee’s most populous city, they will have a lot to say on this topic. They will probably and undeniably claim that the city administration and the way things were dealt with in Nashville had a lot to do with its today’s reputation.

I’m not talking about the reputation of a culturally rich and tourism driven city. I’m talking about the reputation of a city that is slowly taking a wrong turn and going towards becoming broke. I’m talking about the city in which the Mayor John Cooper is proposing a 32% property tax increase.  This all has to reflect on people and the people are essentially what matters in any economy and in any place on Earth. What people thing is the most important thing, which is why we need to rely on their objective opinions.

With that in mind, I have decided to share with you the opinion of a person who has done more than dip his toe in the politics of Nashville. This person has been rather active in local politics and he has shown over the years that he can significantly influence the political decisions in the Tennessee capital. His power is unquestionable and undeniable, but it’s the way he uses that power that drives people’s attention towards him and his rather successful business.

The person in question is Lee Beaman, the chairman and the CEO of the Beaman Automotive Group in Nashville. Before we go into details about what Beaman thinks of the old and the New Nashville and before we reveal what he has to say about the proposed tax increase, I want to introduce you to the man himself a little bit. It’s only natural that you want to know who is speaking and whose opinion we are taking as valuable at this time of a very much possible economic crisis.

 

Who Is Lee Beaman?

As a Tennessee businessman, Beaman has long been known all around the country. He runs the Beaman Automotive Group in the capital of this country, which is listed as one of the largest private companies in Nashville. Beaman himself has been named one of the most powerful and influential people in this city and it is definitely clear that he isn’t afraid of using the power he has.

He picked up the entrepreneurial skills from a very young age, since his father was a renowned businessman in Tennessee. Lee decided to follow in Alvin Beaman’s footsteps and, when it was time to go to university and he was asked what he wanted to major in, Lee answered something along the lines of: “Anything that will help me continue what my father was doing”. This little, seemingly unimportant sentence shows us that Lee Beaman is a man who values tradition.

In 2014, the Nashville Business Journal named Lee Beaman the Newsmaker of The Year, which helped him further establish his political influence. He made a name for himself in the world of politics by strongly opposing the Amp project that was proposed by the then Mayor Karl Dean. This was a project that wasn’t very widely accepted by the public and people needed someone to stand up for them and help them stop the whole process. Beaman joined the StopAmp campaign and succeeded in stopping it.

Along with his amazing business skills, this businessman seems to have a strong sense of community, which is corroborated by all the Lee Beaman information that you can find online. He donated a lot of his hard earned money to Nashville Universities and hospitals with the aim of securing a better and more secure future for our upcoming generations. A library and a Student Life Center were built with the help of his donations, which made a lot of students rather happy to be studying in this city. The money that went to the St. Thomas Midtown Hospital was directed towards building an NICU, which further shows that this man puts much hope into our future generations.

Why is this important, though? Why is everything that Beaman did important for our today’s story? If you remember correctly, we are here to talk about the 32% property tax increase proposed by Mayor John Cooper. It’s only natural that we are interested in the opinion of a philanthropist such as Lee Beaman when this is in question. We have seen that he has a reputation of standing up for the people and working towards improving their quality of life, which is exactly why his opinion on this topic significantly matters.

 

Why Was The Tax Increase Proposed?

Just like many other cities around the world, Nashville is facing some financial challenges in 2020. The first half of the year has been a real rollercoaster and nobody can tell what the second half will bring. It’s difficult for people to “relax” and hope for the best when there are so many indications that the best isn’t yet to come. In fact, most people in Tennessee might tell you that the best is behind them instead of ahead of them.

The financial situation wasn’t exactly bright and amazing in Nashville even before the year 2020 hit us all in the face. We cannot blame it all on the year, but we can surely say that the lockdown due to the pandemic has dealt a significant blow to the economy of the capital of Tennessee. Now, this is not that surprising, since the whole world is still in panic and everyone’s economy has suffered a major setback. Yet, we all worry about what’s ours, so the people of Nashville worry about Nashville.

COVID-19 wasn’t the only thing that impacted this city’s economy negatively. There has also been a deadly tornado that the place had to deal with. Given the already imbalanced economy, it’s no wonder that a lot of people are worried about the future of the Tennessee’s most populous city. For Nashville to become stable once again, it will have to cut back on a lot of things and make some rather important changes in the way things are done in this place.

This is why, among other things, Mayor John Cooper proposed a 32% property tax increase and called this a part of the necessary “crisis budget” needed by a city that is on the brink. If you go here, you’ll see that the increase has been approved by the Council with 32 votes. It is a rather large number, 32, both when it comes to the members of the Council who voted and when it comes to the percentage of the tax increase.

What Does Lee Beaman Think Of The Proposed Tax Increase?

This increase has raised a lot of questions. Was it really necessary? Will the economy really flourish and heal after imposing such a huge tax increase? And, most importantly, how will it all reflect on the lives of the people living in Nashville? While we can all speculate and we are all entitled to having our own opinions, I suggest we hear what Lee Beaman has to say, as a person with a strong political background and a vast knowledge in the field of economy.

Lee Beaman has known Mayor John Cooper for a long time. In an interview with Dr. Carol Swain, Beaman claims that, when Cooper was in Metro Council, he was often seen as the “voice of reason”. He continued to explain that Cooper has a great financial and business background and that he understands the financial world much better than any of the other candidates that were running for office alongside him. While that sounds like a great endorsement, Cooper is not running for Mayor in 2020.

In 2020, Mayor John Cooper is proposing a 32% property tax increase on an already unstable economy. Most people are claiming that the way he has been governing Nashville is exactly what led to these instabilities. That makes them concerned that this bold, or perhaps insane, move will ultimately be the end of this city. People are concerned that this will destroy their beloved Nashville.

Since you have heard Lee Beaman call Cooper “the voice of reason” and claim that he is a financial expert, you would think that it meant Beaman was all for the tax increase. That’s not the case, though. As you could have already guessed, Lee Beaman is always for saying the truth, no matter whom it might offend. He believes that the governance of Mayor John Cooper wasn’t up to par and that the Government hasn’t done enough to keep Nashville stable and secure. As for the 32% tax increase, Beaman says that, unless the Mayor changes his mind or the Council stops this change, the “It” city is “in deep trouble”.