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Recent Proposal Would Allow Metro to Tack on Additional Charge for Certain Downtown Services - Mikayla Lewis

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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--A recent proposal would allow Metro to place an additional charge on certain downtown services. The extra fee would go towards building a fund for the Music City Center. 

This proposed fee would be applied to Nashville's Central Business Improvement District, which includes most of downtown. The Nashville Visitors Bureau says its all in effort to attract more people downtown and to the Music City Center. 

Andrea Arnold, Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau Vice President of Public Affairs said, " Right now Nashville is performing at the top of the charts and we have a lot of interest in the city." 

Arnold explained the visitors bureau proposed a quarter of a penny fee to be added on to downtown services like food, beer, short term parking and souvenirs. The fee collected would go into a fund for the Music City Center to make it more attractive than other cities. 

Arnold said,"We're competing daily with markets like Indianapolis, Atlanta, and Chicago and each of those have a revenue stream created just in by large conventions coming to their market."

The Music City Center rents for sometimes hundreds of thousands of dollars. Competing cities offer their facilities for free using a revenue fund. 

Arnold added, "Our hotels have carried the large burden of taxes, we wanted to look at another model that other people in the hospitality industry could participate in that." 

The business development fee would be tacked onto the cost of visiting tourist attractions and purchases.

Tourists from New York today said,  "Seems small, but then next year it will be a little bit more and more and more. Once they get you started on it then they keep on going with it." 

Jeff Kennard, Whiskey Bent Saloon general manager said, "Other taxes you  may not know where the money is going. With this we know exactly where its going. It's going to downtown businesses to help us bring larger business into town."

The extra fee would exclude services like long term parking and purchasing tickets at Bridgestone Arena. The next step is to take the proposal to the Metro Council for approval.

Follow Mikayla Lewis on Twitter @MikaylaFox17

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