Poll Shows Nearly Two-Thirds of Liberal Davidson County is Against Mayor Cooper’s Proposed 32 Percent Property Tax Hike


A new Triton poll finds decidedly liberal Davidson County is solidly against Mayor John Cooper’s proposed 32 percent property tax hike.

The poll is available here. It was conducted last Thursday and Friday by Triton Polling & Research and was paid for by Nashville Smart, a local 501(c)(4).

Lonnie Spivak, an election expert, is with Nashville Smart. He spoke with The Tennessee Star about the poll Monday.

Spivak also will be on Tuesday morning’s The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 am to 8:00 am.

On Monday, Spivak said Nashville Smart, as a 501(c)(4), has no position on whether the tax increase should pass, and that it commissioned the poll for informational purposes.

“We wanted to judge what the public opinion of the tax increase is going into the budget season,” Spivak said. “Metro Council doesn’t have the resources to poll.”

The Triton poll sampled 769 registered voters, with 53.5 percent identifying as Democrat, 28.8 percent Republican, 15.3 percent Independent and 2.4 percent Not Sure/Undecided.

Mayor Cooper had a 47.1 percent favorable rating, 25.6 percent unfavorable, and 25.7 had heard of him but had no opinion.

Regarding Cooper’s proposed property tax hike, 25.5 percent said they were for it and 64.8 percent were against it.

Spivak said that not only did a low number of people support the proposed tax increase but the same group who opposed the tax increase felt Cooper is doing a good job with his COVID-19 response (66.4 percent). So, the respondents are not against Cooper — just his tax increase.

The poll did not bode well for Metro Council members who may support the property tax hike.

The poll asked would the respondent be more likely or less likely to support a council member who supported the tax hike: 20.2 percent said more likely, while 58.5 percent said less likely. 

Spivak said that 67.2 percent said the proposed tax increase would hurt affordable housing.

He said the poll used a couple of control questions to validate the results, and the numbers were “right on.”

Meanwhile, the Triton poll contrasts with the most recent annual Vanderbilt Poll-Nashville, which found that Cooper has an 80 percent approval rating, the highest of any mayor since the poll began, The Star reported last week.

Only 19 percent of respondents said they identify as Republicans. Another 45 percent of respondents said they identify as Democrats, while 26 percent said they are Independents and 10 percent said they are “something else.” Only 21 percent said their political views are “very conservative” or “conservative,” compared to 30 percent who said they are “liberal” or “very liberal.”

The Vanderbilt poll has long been accused of leaning left and underreporting Republicans’ chances in elections — such as saying Donald Trump was leading Hillary Clinton in Tennessee by 11 points, when he won by 26.

Perhaps Vanderbilt’s poll is a product of its board members’ worldviews. Members include José González, co-founder of Conexion Americas (illegal immigration advocacy), Tom Ingram (owner of the Nashville soccer franchise and the effort to build a stadium at the Nashville Fairgrounds and a donor to former Mayor David Briley);  former Al Gore adviser Roy M. Neel; and Lisa Quigley, chief of staff for Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper (Mayor John Cooper’s brother).

Read the poll’s topline findings:

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Jason M. Reynolds has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist at outlets of all sizes. 






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8 Thoughts to “Poll Shows Nearly Two-Thirds of Liberal Davidson County is Against Mayor Cooper’s Proposed 32 Percent Property Tax Hike”

  1. CCW

    It is obvious, looking at other sanctuary cities across the U.S. The Nashville area must have the 32% increase in tax revenue to sustain their current roll as a sanctuary city. There is really no other choice.

    1. Linda Perkerson

      What about the elderly you are really gonna take money away from them when they cant buy food and groceries now…take from people making 100000.00 or more they got it they can do it…if my taxes go up i will never vote for Cooper again ….

  2. Wolf Woman

    Mayor Cooper’s 32% property tax hike proposal is a political bait and switch move. He goes with a high figure, then members of the Council come back with lower figures.

    The Council debates the numbers and in the end we have them passing a sizable tax increase but nothing near 32% and no mention of a sunset clause. The mayor has raised taxes, the members look like they’re fighting for us and we are relieved that the 32% increase wasn’t passed.

    And, of course there’s no mention of cutting the ridiculous Metro budget expenses, like three departments with “justice” in their titles that have nothing to do with the Court system. Or the Mayor’s Office department of “Diversity and Inclusion” which is nothing but a socialist scam. Take 10 minutes and check out the Mayor’s Office and Metro Departments on https://www.nashville.gov/Government.aspx to see why our city’s essential services are underfunded.

    The governing of this city is a shame and disgrace and is funded on the backs of the shrinking middle class. Hack politicians, in bed with the greedy and envious, are killing the golden goose.

  3. joeknows

    Gee! Imagine that, most residents don’t want to “donate” to cooper’s bail-out fund. Amazing how “out of touch with reality” Cooper is.

  4. rick

    Hail Napoleon – shut the economy down, open the economy with your 4 stage (look at me rebound) and propose a ridiculous tax increase because of your previous/present mismanagement of funds. All the time having a 5% increase in the present budget even before the proposed tax increase. You shall be known henceforth as One Term Napoleon!

  5. Julie

    Don’t Democrats and high taxes go hand in hand?

  6. Kevin

    Anybody who knows anything about Nashville’s government knows that per the Metro Charter, the Mayor position is the dominate force. And It is and has been the Mayors, Dean, and Berry and Briley and now Cooper, who have buried Nashville in fiscal insolvency! To date Cooper has shown an unwillingness to swing the proverbial axe, and cut structural spending. Therefore, he’s as guilty as the rest! So to the 47% who think Cooper is doing a good job, wake up!

    Council members have very little clout. Unless they band together, something that rarely happens. But who knows, maybe this is the year!


    Why do property owners need to foot the bill for Mayor Cooper’s lack of fiscal control. It is NOT a revenue problem it is a SPENDING PROBLEM. The taxpayer’s know that if their is no money in their personal checking account you can’t write checks and they seek to cut spending or do without something. Nashville’s Mayor Cooper think that even while he has no available fund he STILL does have a book full of blank paper checks, therefore he can still write checks. A budget is not an obligation to spent but a guidance document to help you from over spending however if the Cash Flow is not there you don’t keep spending but figure ways to cut spending.. Quit using the Taxpayer’s money to fund tourism but make the tourist pay their way.