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Amp Taxes Proposed -- Sky Arnold

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Nashville, Tenn -- Your next trip to the Davidson County Clerks office could be a little more expensive.

Metro Council Member Charlie Tygard is proposing raising the registration fee by $20.

It's one tax hike of several Tygard is proposing to help pay for the Amp.

"I think we need to explain to the people that mass transit is not free," said Tygard.

The Amp is a proposed bus rapid transit service that would connect East Nashville with White Bridge Road through dedicated bus lanes.

Under the plan, $60 million of the $175 million cost would come from Metro Nashville.

Mayor Karl Dean has not said where he'd like that money to come from yet and Tygard says that's why the admitted fiscal conservative is stepping in with proposals.

In addition to the registration increase, Tygard is proposing hiking the gas tax and adding special taxes for those who live near the Amp.

He's also proposing a referendum to raise the sales tax by a half cent.

Tygard worries without it Nashville will just borrow money for the Amp.
"It's the federal government model.  We can not continue to pay our bills by issuing debt," said Tygard.

Not everyone agrees.

Amp Spokesperson Holly McCall says a tax hike won't be needed to build the project.

"It's never too early to start talking I just am not sure throwing out a tax increase is going to do anything but scare people," said McCall.

Mayor Dean was not available to answer questions but his office did release a statement opposing Tygard's proposals.

"The amp does not require a tax increase.  Mayor Dean does not support Mr. Tygards's proposals to raise taxes," said Dean's Spokesperson.