Nashville property owners may be carrying lighter wallets soon as some members of the council want to raise property tax rates by 50 cents.
Councilman Bob Mendes has proposed the tax hike as a way to pay for government employee cost-of-living raises and for schools and make up a budget shortfall, NewsChannel 5 reports. He wants the bill to come forward next week and pass before the Memorial Day weekend.
Councilwoman Sharon Hurt and Councilman Bill Pridemore have backed Mendes’ plan, The Tennessean reports. The plan would raise the combined property tax rate in the Urban Services District from $3.155 to $3.655 per $100 of assessed value, a 15.9-percent hike, and the General Services rate by 49 cents from $2.755 to $3.245. A home appraised at $250,000 in the Urban Services District would pay about $319 more per year in property taxes.
Mendes’ justification is that last year Metro lowered the rate to a low of $3.15 following a reassessment, NewsChannel 5 said, and added Nashvillians would want to honor the city’s obligations. The council has made budget mistakes that have lead to the problem and will study across-the-board budget cuts next year.
The budget must be approved before July 1.
Mayor David Briley, who is one of 13 candidates running in the May 24 election to finish former Mayor Megan Barry’s term, has spoken against the tax increase, The Tennessean said. At-large Councilmember Erica Gilmore, one of his opponents, supports a tax hike.
Conservative mayoral candidate Carol Swain tweeted about Briley, “Please ask where he stands on the proposed property tax increase, & will he veto it?” She also tweeted, “Our city council thinks that raising property taxes instead of exercising fiscal responsibility is the correct course of action. What do you think? Elect Carol Swain so we can stop our tax and spend politicians.”