Tony Gonzalez | Nashville Public Radio

Tony Gonzalez

Enterprise Reporter

Tony Gonzalez, a reporter in Nashville since July 2011, covers city news, features inspiring people, and seeks out offbeat stories. He’s also an award-winning juggler and hot chicken advocate who lives in East Nashville with his wife, a professional bookbinder. During his time at The Tennessean newspaper, his investigative reporting and feature stories were honored in the state and nationally. Gonzalez grew up near Chicago and came to Nashville after three years reporting and editing at Virginia's smallest daily newspaper, The News Virginian.

transit map

Your Nashville transit referendum questions have poured in to WPLN this month, and on the eve of early voting beginning Wednesday, here are answers to another batch.

transit ad
File / WPLN

An advertisement in opposition to Nashville’s transit plan has been retracted for including a faulty number.

The inaccurate information appeared in a newspaper and flyers, and was questioned by WPLN during what has been an increasingly combative debate by the groups that have lined up for and against the city’s mass transit proposal.

Nashville MTA bus photo
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

We’ve asked you for your questions about the pending vote on Nashville’s mass transit plan. Now, we’re trying to answer them.

Nashville Mayor's Office

At the center of Nashville’s transit proposal is an increase to four taxes. And the largest — in terms of how much money could be raised, and how many people would pay more — would be a higher local sales tax.

bus Nashville
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Much of the discussion around Nashville’s transit proposal focuses on five light rail lines outlined by the plan. Yet those routes would be ready, at the earliest, beginning in 2026.

Much sooner — if voters approve the referendum on May 1 — the initial changes would focus on improving countywide bus service, at a cost of nearly $1 billion.

It was quite a sprint — and Metro has now concluded its budget hearings, which will inform the budget that's due soon from Mayor David Briley.

Nashville bus MTA
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville’s mass transit vote is fast-approaching. In the meantime, the Metro Transit Authority has been rolling out incremental improvements — and, so far, liking the results.

Nashville bus
Tony Gonzalez / WPLN

Nashville is now less than a month away from the start of early voting on its mass transit referendum. Voters will decide whether to raise four types of taxes to create a dedicated funding stream for a multi-billion-dollar overhaul to public transit.

Vivian Wilhoite
Metro Nashville Network

One reason the Metro government is taking a conservative budget approach this year is because many residents have successfully fought to reduce their property reappraisals.

While it means less tax money for the city, Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite was not defensive while fielding questions from Mayor David Briley at her budget hearing Monday.

Metro government
File / WPLN

Nashville’s government departments have been warned to take a conservative approach to spending this year, a message that will inform the budget hearings that begin Monday with Mayor David Briley.