Metro Election Commission votes to send property tax referendum to court for decision

Local News

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — After more than two hours of deliberation, The Metro Nashville Election Commission voted to seek guidance from the Chancery Court on a referendum wanting to roll back Nashville’s property tax increase.

The group Americans for Prosperity Tennessee has brought forth the referendum seeking a vote to reverse the 34% property tax increase and cap property tax increases to 2% each year without voter approval.

The referendum asked for a December 5 election. The commission voted for a conditional referendum election date to bet set on Tuesday, December 15 instead. The commission had concern over holding an election on a Saturday, as proposed by the first date.

The Election Commission will now work to hire legal counsel to bring the decision before the Davidson County Chancery Court. They will seek a declaratory judgement on the referendum.

Nashville Mayor John Cooper released a statement in response to the vote:

“Clearly, there are serious questions about the constitutionality of the proposed charter amendment, and we look forward to the court’s ruling. Right now, the mere discussion of the referendum threatens Metro’s ability to provide essential city services to all Davidson County residents.

“This proposed amendment would turn Nashville’s temporary financial challenges into a chronic and permanent condition and be a roadblock to our community’s success. As essential city services are reduced, including classroom sizes, emergency services and response times, and infrastructure maintenance, our property values and our business landscape will quickly diminish.

“Nashville requires a stable financial condition to address the many challenges presented by 2020. We’ve faced two historic crises this year unlike anything we’ve seen in our lifetimes. Mandating a county-wide referendum every time our city requires a new school or other significant infrastructure project is completely contrary to way we govern here in Tennessee.

“Nashvillians are resilient and responsible. We rebuilt homes after the 2010 flood and the March 3rd tornado. We reopened businesses in the face of a global pandemic. And the Mayor’s office will continue to stand by the difficult but necessary decisions that will help us re-emerge from this period of historic challenge as the greatest city in the nation.”

This is a developing story. Stay with News 2 and WKRN.com for updates.

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