NASHVILLE, Tenn., (WKRN) — 20,000 signatures were turned in to the Metro Clerk’s Office on Wednesday afternoon in hopes of getting onto a special election ballot.
The ballot would ask Nashville voters to reverse the latest property tax increase of 34% approved by the Metro Council. Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act would further limit property tax rate increases to a maximum of 2% each year without a referendum.
“Nashville has never had a revenue problem. It’s had a priority problem; it’s had a spending problem; it’s had a debt problem. This Taxpayer Protection Act should actually solve a lot of those root causes that put us in this situation to begin with,” Americans for Prosperity Tennessee State Director Tori Venable said.
The organization is hoping the election commission would approve the special ballot for December 5th. Property taxes will be sent out in September and due by February.
“This is a kitchen table issue. This is something that Nashvillians have had to tighten their belts for,” Venable said.
Ashton Real Estate Group agent Ryan Turbeville said the average home owner will see between a $500 to $1,000 increase. Also, small businesses will be impacted even further.
“They’re struggling already right now. Whereas a homeowner may be increasing in the hundreds to the thousands, for a lot of these small businesses, their taxes are going up in the tens of thousands of dollars numbers,” Turbeville said.
Turbeville said the 34% increase is already affecting property owners he represents.
“I’m really worried we’re going to have businesses close that will never come back. And we’re starting to see it,” Turbeville said.
Mayor John Cooper originally suggested 32%, but council later approved an even higher rate.
Cooper has said even with the property tax increase, Nashville is still one of the lowest taxed cities of its size.
The Clerk’s Office informed petitioners the election commission will likely pick up their signatures on Thursday, but it’s unknown when the group will hear back if their special ballot request is approved.