Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed all-star panelist Clint Brewer in studio to weigh in on the growth spurt that continues in Tennessee due to a re-locating caravan of blue state refugees.
Leahy: We are joined in studio by our very good friend all-star panelist, Clint Brewer, recovering journalist, who gives me advice on pitfalls to avoid. And I follow that advice very very often. Thank you for that. But I wanted to talk about for a minute, Clint, what’s happening here in Nashville, despite all of the bad policies of Mayor John Cooper Nashville, for a number of reasons outside of Nashville and some inside of Nashville, it’s growing like crazy. California is going nuts. Illinois is going nuts. New York’s gone nuts. These bad blue states are basically creating refugees who want to run a business where they’re not going to be interfered with.
Brewer: And it’s been that way for a while. I spent five years in Governor Haslam’s administration doing economics.
Leahy: That’s right. You did. You’ve seen this.
Brewer: I’ve witnessed this up close and personal. I mean, New York, Illinois, California have fed more businesses to the state of Tennessee in last 10 years, probably than any other state ever has.
Leahy: We should send a thank you note to Governor Newsom in California.
Brewer: It’s the low tax rate. It’s the low corporate tax rates, the general affordability of land. It’s a willingness of governments to be partners with businesses rather than be in opposition to them. And it’s a lifestyle choice for a lot of people’s families and a lot of employers’ families. You can find really great schools here. And it’s just a more laid-back way to live.
Leahy: You can find houses here in Middle Tennessee that are less expensive than the houses being sold in California. But what a hot market this is?
Brewer: Yeah, it is a hot market. All the people moving here have certainly heated up the real estate market. I mean, it’s hot for this area. The appreciation rate is high, but it’s still cheaper to live in than the vast majority of other places in the country.
Leahy: And by the way, that no state income tax, you can’t beat it.
Brewer: I mean, it’s the best recruiting tool we’ve got.
Leahy: It absolutely is a great recruiting tool. Apparently, Oracle likes it. Now they have a few hurdles to overcome. But I guess on Tuesday night, the Metro Nashville Council unanimously approved the things they had to do to get Oracle in here for the first step.
Brewer: Oracle has been in the economic development pipeline for a while, and it’s a big win for the state. Kudos to Nashville for showing so well and winning the deal. It’s good to see the Cooper administration sort of getting back into the ring on economic development. That’s encouraging. And when a company can do business anywhere and they decide to do business in Tennessee, it says a lot about our business environment.
It says a lot about our workforce, and it says a lot about the potential for the state. We’re becoming a hub for tech, which are high-paying jobs, which is what you need now. There are some challenges policy-wise with it. And I think some of the residents of the East Bank are right to be worried that they’re going to be crowded out.
Leahy: I think it’s inevitable.
Brewer: Well, it may be, but, I mean, we can’t just drive people willy nilly out of the county. We’ve got to figure out a way to do both. To allow people to stay in the county and to recruit economically.
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