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Majority opposes costly Nashville waterpark deal


column-govtNASHVILLE—As the Metro Nashville City Council’s upcoming vote on an incentive deal for a waterpark in Nashville that a stunning 95 percent of Tennessee taxpayers oppose grows closer, the Beacon Center took a look at how else that $14 million could have been used.

Based on average salaries in the city of Nashville, this $14 million tax break to the Opryland hotel could have paid for one year’s salary for 276 teachers, 280 police officers, or 335 firefighters.

Mark Cunningham of the Beacon Center noted, “Nashvillians and Tennesseans are almost unanimously opposed to giving taxpayer money to a water park. A whopping 95 percent of Tennesseans believe that this incentive deal to the Opryland Waterpark is a bad idea, which is truly incredible. Not even 95 percent of people believe the Moon Landing was real, which shows the fierce opposition to taxpayer money going to a water park.”

Cunningham went on to say, “There are things that nearly every Nashvillian believes the government should be spending money on, whether it is public safety or education. It’s pretty clear that we should be focusing our resources on what the city needs and not continuing to give multi-million dollar handouts to big corporations at the expense of small businesses and Nashville homeowners.”

The poll has surveyed over 350 Tennesseans with about half coming from the Nashville area. The above results are directional and not a traditional scientific poll, but they offer a glimpse of how residents view the waterpark incentive deal.


The Beacon Center of Tennessee is a nonprofit, nonpartisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing concerned citizens and public leaders with expert empirical research and timely free market solutions to public policy issues in Tennessee.

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