Closing arguments delivered in Nashville property tax referendum trial

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The fight to repeal Nashville’s 34% property tax hike is one step closer to coming to an end. Attorneys on all sides took four hours to deliver closing arguments on Tuesday.

Citizens group, “4 Good Government,” gathered 27,000 signatures to rollback the tax hike and prevent Metro from having the authority to raise taxes in the future. The group’s attorney, Jim Roberts, argued his clients checked all of their boxes and followed proper protocol. Roberts said the commission stalled the process by waiting several weeks to hire a judge to determine whether or not the process is legal and voters should have the chance to weigh-in.

“If the courts were to prevent them from having that decided, there would be tremendous anger not just toward the Mayor, but toward the judiciary unneeded anger,” Roberts said.

Dean Koch, who represents the Davidson County Election Commission, said it shouldn’t be a surprise that Metro’s statutes don’t provide guidance on how to proceed in this type of situation.

In September, Mayor Cooper spoke to the Metro Council and said if the tax is repealed in a special election, the city will be unable to fund adequate police and fire departments, trash will go uncollected and teachers will leave. Metro’s lawyer argued the same sentiment Tuesday.

“Metro will face an immediate and totally unnecessary financial crisis, metro will lose at least 332 million dollars, in budgeted property tax revenue,” said Metro Law’s Director, Bob Cooper.

Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Lyle is expected to make a decision by Nov. 3, but Roberts asked for it to be done sooner. The election commission has set Dec. 15 as a tentative date for the special election, if it is approved.

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