NASHVILLE, Tenn.(WKRN) – Many business owners in Nashville are in disbelief over mayor Cooper’s proposed property tax increase of nearly 32 percent. 

“Terrible” and “crushing” are the words some restaurant owners in Sylvan Park used to describe the proposal that comes at a time when many are barely making it as is.

“It was shocking to the core,” Will Newman who owns Edley’s Bar-B-Que & Pancho and Lefty’s Cantina told News 2. 

The punches just keep coming for small business owners like him.

“It’s an insult to small businesses in Nashville that are literally at best on their knees, but most are on the ground. It’s like getting kicked in the gut with a steel toed boot,” he said.

Newman who has 6 leases in the city says while many small businesses like his, don’t own their commercial properties tax increases are often passed on to the tenants.

“Thinking about a sharp property tax increase right now is really, really troubling to me,” District 19 Councilman Freddie O’Connell told News 2.

O’Connell has received a number of concerns from restaurant owners, fearful that they wont survive if the tax property increase proposal goes through.

“A small business by sometime next year is probably going to see their rent increase as they also try and deal you know with an economy that’s struggling to regain its footing,” said O’Connell.

Newman hopes metro council members like O’Connell will stand-up so that Nashville doesn’t lose its flavor, that’s already starting to sour. 

“This will absolutely crush whatever restaurants are left, crush it. Small businesses in Nashville are on life support and you know our plea now is to metro council, do the right thing and propose an alternate budget that is balanced in its approach and not shocking to the core.”