Metro Councilman Jamie Hollin is hoping Metro will use tax increment financing to help generate more development on Gallatin Pike in East Nashville.
In a letter sent Friday to Metro’s Industrial Development Board, Hollin urges board members to “examine the use of tax increment financing as a tool to further economic development” along the Gallatin Pike corridor, long derided as visually unappealing for its negligible landscaping and multitude of pawn and auto shops.
Hollin, elected last year in a special election to represent District 5 on the council, copied Mayor Karl Dean, Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling and the mayor’s office Director of Economic and Community Development Alexia Poe in the email.
“I believe that the use of tax-increment financing along the Gallatin Pike corridor through the Industrial Development Board is exactly what the area needs to stimulate economic development,” Hollin wrote. “While this would not be an overnight cure for the problem, it may just be the spark that is needed to get development in the area moving forward.”
Generally, tax increment financing, known as TIF, refers to a tool employed by municipalities in which future tax revenues generated by properties in a designated district are dedicated to the retirement of debt of a new development project.
Hollin doesn’t elaborate on what type of TIF approach he envisions, but cites the Metro Council’s 2007 approval of an economic impact plan that allowed for the use of TIF to help spur development around the nearly abandoned Bellevue Center mall.
Hollin’s TIF proposal comes as he continues to take on the merits of the Gallatin Pike Specific Plan, a set of zoning guidelines passed by the council in 2007 that requires future development along the road to abide by new landscaping, signage, street setback standards and uses. Hollin has called the guidelines a hindrance to future growth and a nuisance for developers to navigate.
“Although the Gallatin Pike SP District was well-intentioned,” Hollin said, “I am of the opinion that it has not had the positive economic impact that the area so greatly deserves.”