NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Friday, the Davidson County Election Commission spent two and a half hours debating a recently submitted petition that would revoke a 34 percent property hike enacted by the Metro City Council.
“My God, a 34 percent tax increase? That hits hard and it hits at home,” said Kenny Ames, a musician who said he made a living performing on cruise ships. The COVID-19 pandemic put him out of work.
Ames was one of the concerned citizens who spoke at Friday’s meeting.
“Government is supposed to be about the people,” said Michele Totty, a Nashville entrepreneur. “It’s not anymore. A few shouldn’t have a say over many.”
Back in June, Metro council members approved a 34 percent property tax hike. They also adopted a spending plan to increase funding for the police department and the public school district.
A group headed by Jim Roberts started a petition against the increase, asking that citizens be given the chance to vote on the matter instead.
“When 27,000 voters of Davidson County say they want a chance for the rest of the county to vote on something, then they should be entirely entitled to have their ballot issue put on the ballot and have an election,” said Roberts.
Instead, the Commission voted down the proposal, opting to file for a declaratory judgment, which allows them to seek legal counsel on how to move forward.
“I’m not particularly surprised because I understand that government does not like power taken away,” said Roberts. “I knew for certain the mayor and the council would fight this hard as they could and they would do anything they could, legal or illegal — honest or dishonest to try to stop it.”
The commission also agreed on two other motions. The first to set a conditional referendum election date for Tuesday, December 15. The second to hire legal counsel to intervene in the circumstance.