The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce wants Davidson County residents’ property taxes to be hiked 32 percent.
The chamber is urging the Metro Council to vote for Mayor John Cooper’s budget that includes a 32 percent property tax increase, the Nashville Business Journal reported.
The chamber’s board endorsed the budget in an announcement Monday and a letter to council members.
The chamber’s 40-member board, led by Pinnacle Bank chairman Rob McCabe, is a roster replete with prominent executives and entrepreneurs — representing most of Nashville’s most influential companies and industries.
The chamber, with more than 2,000 members in the Greater Nashville region, is a notable business voice now weighing into a debate that will culminate by the end of the month. If the council does not approve an alternative budget, Cooper’s proposal becomes law with the July 1 start of the new fiscal year.
Cooper’s proposed budget totals $2.447 billion, the city said.
Metro Finance estimates that the city will experience a $470 million revenue decline over a 16-month time frame due to the impact of COVID-19 and the March tornado. The decline in revenue during Q4 of fiscal year 2020 required Metro to cut expenditures and spend down remaining fund balances, leaving Metro with only $12 million of fund balances at the end of FY20.
The financial impact of the tornado and COVID-19 on Q4 and FY21 require a budget that increases the property tax rate by $1.00, raising the current rate of $3.155 up to $4.155. Over the past 25 years, Metro’s combined GSD/USD property tax rate has averaged $4.30.
This is not the first time the chamber has supported government taxation of citizens and businesses — the chamber was a major backer of former Mayor Megan Barry’s $9 billion transit plan that failed 2-1 in a public referendum in 2017, The Tennessee Star previously reported.
The Star reported that Marc Hill, Chief Policy Officer at the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, tweeted, “#LetsMoveNashville transit plan is the result of years of work, tens of thousands of citizen engagements. Thank you to Vice Mayor Briley and Metro Council members who are providing strong leadership to put the plan to a May 1 vote to let the people of Nashville decide.”
The chamber had ties to the Citizens for Greater Mobility PAC, which supported the transit plan.
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