Nashville Mayor Reveals Plan to Raise Property Taxes Amid Tornado Devastation and Coronavirus Pandemic


Nashville Mayor John Cooper announced during his virtual State of the Metro address Tuesday that he plans to “sharply increase” the city’s property tax rate.

Cooper said the Nashville Finance Department predicts that revenue from sales taxes and other activities will be down between $200 and $300 million because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Because of the unusual circumstances, Cooper didn’t have a budget proposal to discuss but said the budget ordinance he plans to present to the Metro Council in April will “sharply” increase the city’s property tax rate. Cooper said the final rate will still be lower than other cities throughout Tennessee.

“Let me be direct: the budget ordinance that will be filed with the Council in April will sharply increase the property tax rate from its current historically low level,” he said. “The final amount will be determined with the best information available but it will be substantial and this is something we have to do.”

Cooper is required to submit his budget proposal to the Metro Council by April 28 and the Council then has until June 30 to approve the increased rate for next year’s budget.

The mayor was opposed to increasing property taxes during his mayoral campaign last year and when he was a member of the Metro Council, but he said the city’s “finances are in a place where there is no option.”

“We can’t print money or borrow to cover our operating expenses. We must raise property taxes, as difficult as that is right now,” he continued. “This is not a budget message, as much as it is a statement of principles. Through careful financial stewardship, we will meet today’s challenges and build a greater city on the other side.”

He said the city government doesn’t have a rainy day fund and “actually thinned its cash balances,” which has “left us vulnerable in what has become a stormy season.”

“I expected to be here today with the budget to put our fiscal house in order and to invest in our neighbors, in our schools, in transportation, in affordable housing, and in public safety,” he said. “Then came the unexpected: the tornado and the coronavirus pandemic.”

Cooper also announced during his address that he will be extending Nashville’s stay-at-home order through April 24.

As of Tuesday, Tennessee had 2,239 confirmed COVID-19 cases, including 391 in Davidson County.

Cooper’s full address can be watched below:

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Mayor Cooper Press Conference” by Metro Nashville Network.







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8 Thoughts to “Nashville Mayor Reveals Plan to Raise Property Taxes Amid Tornado Devastation and Coronavirus Pandemic”

  1. CollegeGrover

    I wish I would hear at least half the moaning about Mitch McConnell and all of the national debt he has allowed to run up. And without even a fight! And during a booming economy.
    Great speeches about being a fiscal conservative at his Chamber speeches.

  2. Raise Taxes: That’s what Democrats and RINOs do! Never let a disaster go to waste; use it as an excuse for higher taxes, fro the socialist trough or for socialist expansion of socialist machine/government and control or all of the above. Peloepl are losing incomes and he wants to raise taxes? What is the matter with Nshvillians , are they into S&M

  3. rick

    What terrible timing. You have just blown all of your goodwill that the public had given you. YOU LOSE!

  4. Kevin

    Well, isn’t this exactly what Nashville leaders have wanted for some time now? All they needed was for something to come along that they could “hide” the property tax behind. Now they have two things.

    And heaven forbid that government cuts it’s expenses or “lives within it’s means”!

    Welcome to the “**IT City”!

  5. Horatio Bunce

    Cooper’s “lockdown” has eliminated the need for transportation, the schools are closed and sent kids home to watch TV and taking the rest of the year off as paid vacation. Seems like a lot could be cut from the budget, instead of tax increases for the people he helped unemploy. We just got finished “not voting” for trillion dollars bailouts, the stat licking their chops over how many billion TN will get – and we all know the big cities hoard the majority anyway.

  6. joeknows

    Never let a crisis go to waste…….Democrat mantra.

  7. Julie

    Electing Democrat politicians and then having them raise taxes should be an expectation for Davidson County voters.

  8. Mary

    Typical Liberal. God forbid they cut spending. You get what you vote for, Nashville!