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Nashville announces transit referendum on Nov. 5 ballot

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(The Center Square) – Nashville will have a transportation funding referendum on its Nov. 5 ballot.

Details of the plan were not released or finalized but Mayor Freddie O’Connell said the plan comes after 70 studies of Nashville transit in recent years and its focus will be funding for “sidewalks, signals, service and safety” in the city.

“It’s time for Nashville to have the things that big cities are supposed to have,” O’Connell said. “It’s time for Nashville to build another tool to make it easier to stay here by having options that are less expensive and it’s time to build more sidewalks in more neighborhoods.”

O’Connell said his role in Nashville began as a member of the Nashville Metro Transportation Authority board and he will work with WeGo and the Nashville Department of Transportation over the next six weeks to come up with a full plan.

Nashville is one of two Tennessee cities that are part of less than a handful of the top 50 cities nationally that don’t have dedicated funding for transit, ThinkTennessee wrote in a November policy brief. Orlando and Hartford are the other two.

The nonprofit think tank said 39 of those top 50 cities collect sales tax to fund transit with those taxes ranging from 0.375% to 2% bringing in an average $394 million annually.

Others collect property tax, property title fees, mortgage recording fees and vehicle registration or sales fees to pay for transit.

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