A recent household survey conducted by a national public opinion research firm for Franklin Tomorrow and the Williamson County Association of Realtors® indicates eight in 10 of those surveyed say the city is headed in the right direction.
The survey was conducted in September 2012 and was funded through a grant from the National Association of Realtors® as a way to further explore the results of the 2011 Franklin Tomorrow visioning process and gather data on home ownership and housing trends.
The survey was conducted by MWR and American Strategies Inc., a national public opinion research firm, which contacted approximately 400 Franklin residents through a random-sampling process, according to Allison King, Government Affairs and Communications Director for the Williamson County Association of Realtors.
The overall theme of the survey is positive, said Joe Goode of American Strategies, who visited Franklin Nov. 27 to present the survey results to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen and the public at Franklin City Hall.
“In a city with no glaring deficiencies, residents place their highest priorities for local government on issues and goals that have the most immediate impact on their personal livelihood and daily lives,” Goode said. Those top-tier priorities include a business-friendly environment that attracts jobs; improving transportation infrastructure (roads and bridges); and holding the line on city taxes and fees.
With a majority of those sampled describing the quality of life as excellent, scoring high as a future goal is “to preserve the look and feel of city neighborhoods and protect historic buildings,” Goode said.
“At the same time, they do have an eye to the future. Majorities say it is very important to recruit high-tech industries and corporate headquarters to the area,” Goode said.
As development begins to return to one of Tennessee’s fastest growing communities, the majority of those surveyed see both residential (60 percent) and business (72 percent) development happening at about the right pace.
As for housing costs, the majority (53 percent) of residents say that the cost of housing in Franklin is about right although a significant minority (43 percent) characterizes costs as too high, Goode said.
On the issue of taxes, about two-thirds of those surveyed said local sales and property taxes are “about right” for the services they receive, with 33 percent characterizing the sales tax as “too high” and only 20 percent finding property taxes too high.
“Only one-third would be willing to pay more for infrastructure improvements or for more transportation options,” Goode said, adding that half say they would be willing to pay higher taxes or fees to widen and improve major roads and transportation corridors. The favored means among those willing to pay more would be through higher auto registration fees.
The Williamson County Association of Realtors® is the leading regional advocate and provider of research, education and business services for brokers, real estate professionals and the public in Middle Tennessee. With over 1,500 members, WCAR serves real estate professionals and consumers in Williamson County, Tennessee for the past 50 years.
Franklin Tomorrow is a non-profit community visioning organization established in 2001 to ensure that Franklin’s future would be as rich — in meaning and spirit, as well as in buildings and businesses — as its past.