Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s Office Won’t Address Unintended Consequences of Raising Property Taxes

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Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s staff on Wednesday did not address the likely unintended consequences of raising property taxes by 20 percent to make up for the COVID-19 pandemic diminishing the city’s finances.

Cooper’s staff also would not say whether it’s wise to grant restaurant and other business owners the right to reopen sooner rather than later, so they can again generate tax revenue and help the city. This, even if business owners took reasonable precautions to protect people’s health.

Cooper spokesman Chris Song referenced the COVID-19 pandemic and the deadly tornadoes that battered Middle Tennessee in an email to The Tennessee Star Wednesday.

“As Mayor Cooper stated, we can’t print money or borrow to cover our operating expenses. We must raise property taxes, as difficult as that is right now,” Song said.

“But, again, our ability to respond to two simultaneous emergencies will confirm Nashville as a place where people want to put their future.”

Song told The Star that Metro officials have already taken steps to shore up the city’s cash flow, including a hiring freeze, except for public safety and other critical services.

“Promotions, pay raises, and travel is on hold, and non-essential capital spending has been delayed. Mayor Cooper has also directed all departments to identify immediate cost reduction opportunities. These actions will reduce city spending by millions of dollars,” Song said.

“As Mayor Cooper mentioned in his State of Metro address, he is working with the Finance Department to continue a thorough review of every option to make our city fiscally sound, including every cost-cutting opportunity available. Metro must balance its budget, just like businesses and households balance their budgets, which will be submitted on the 28th.”

Metro Council Member At-Large Steve Glover was unavailable for comment Wednesday, but on his Facebook page this week he urged Nashville residents to speak out about higher property taxes.

“Please remember when I started warning us about 5 years ago in Nashville we wouldn’t be ready for the next turn down. Instead we just kept spending,” Glover said while posting a photo of Nashville’s Lower Broadway — without any tourists.

“Welcome to Broadway 4/21/20 at 8:30pm. Never dreamed it could be this bad, did know that the answer would be just raise taxes. Please get involved in the discussion. If you are okay with raising your taxes and taking money out of your pocket for spending on non-essentials other than our public safety and educating our children with real accountability, then get your check books out. Metro only needs about $45 to $100+ per month extra from you. Best time in our economic history and we are broke. Is that you’re fault? Get involved, pay attention to your local metro government.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “John Cooper” by John Cooper.






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13 Thoughts to “Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s Office Won’t Address Unintended Consequences of Raising Property Taxes”

  1. marilyn shay

    NO NEW TAVES, WE HAVE HAD ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  2. marilyn shay

    I am with now lower TAXES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1


    The Nashville Mayor is a member of the Jacka$$ Party, who does know how to save taxpayer Money only how to kick a dead horse, who is out of work, confined to the home, going broke for more Taxes.

  4. Megan Barry

    We will meet this crisis with an overwhelming show of love.

    1. james R bellar

      dont leave out decades of leftist liberalism policies like that choo choo train

  5. Fireguy

    I find it interesting, how for years anyone with half a brain knew that the totally irresponsible spending done by all the mayors and council’s from Purcell to Briley would come back and bite us someday. Sadly my dear council lady never got it and still doesn’t. My comment to her was that these mayor’s and council’s lasting legacy is not how much of my tax dollars you can spend on useless crap that we do not need and should have never budgeted. I never got an answer from her. And hey folks I am a retired Metro employee and I believe it even more. We are heading to be the next Detroit and I don’t like it. Cut the budget,other than public safety and responsible school spending. See how much can be saved by making each employee take one day off between now and the new budget year and see how much that saves. It was brought up for the state to look at and it was several million dollars each day. I like the idea.

  6. Horatio Bunce

    “As Mayor Cooper stated, we can’t print money or borrow to cover our operating expenses. We must raise property taxes, as difficult as that is right now,” Song said.”

    Guess what dumba$$…neither can the taxpayers that you unemployed and destroyed their supply chains print money.

    How’s that major league soccer team working out for you?

  7. justsayno

    Cooper, like his predecessor likes YOUR money. Nashville voters, you had an excellent opportunity to change the direction of Nashville with the last election but you elected to continue down the same destructive path. You reap what you sow.

  8. Angelito

    I want to thank Mayors Dean, Barry, and Briley—and the entire Metro councils besides Glover—for spending Nashville into bankruptcy and being totally unprepared for a downturn.

    Of course, the Mayor and all other government employees have paychecks that they can force us to fund through property taxes.

  9. Mary

    Nashville, you get what you vote for!

  10. rick

    Its not the tornado or the shutdown due to the virus that’s the cause for our problems. It’s plain and simple Democratic control. In every city that has problems it’s the same thing Democratic governance and mismanagement of funds. They will distort the facts and blame everyone and everything but themselves . Continued Democratic governance and the mismanagement of funds has caught up with Metro and now they want the voters to bail the city out with higher property taxes, plain and simple!

    1. Kevin

      Absolutely correct! Citizens have repeatedly voted for and elected/reelected people who are shysters! It just so happens that for the most part, Democrats are more guilty of this behavior than Republicans! “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

      The fact is, until citizens stop relying on or expecting a governmental teat to always be there, we’re gonna have this problem.

    2. Wolf Woman

      Amen, rick.