Grassroots Groups Pledge to Recall Nashville Mayor and Council Members Who Vote for a Property Tax Increase

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The Nashville grassroots group NoTax4Nash announced that it and other like-minded groups pledge to recall Mayor John Cooper and any members of the Metro Nashville Council who vote for a property tax increase without an audit to determine if there is need for one.

The NoTax4Nash pledge comes as the Metro Council is scheduled to vote on Mayor John Cooper’s proposed budget Tuesday, June 16.

In the April introduction of his fiscal year 2021 budget, Mayor Cooper proposed a 32 percent property tax increase.

Mayor Cooper’s huge increase is needed to fund the fiscal 2021 spending increase of $115.9 million over the current year.

The year-over-year spending increase is proposed, despite the fact that the current 2020 fiscal year is expected to be $215.8 million short of the $2.3 billion budget and revenues for the upcoming fiscal 2021 will be $280.6 million short of original expectations largely due to the COVID-19 shutdowns.

Michelle Foreman, spokeswoman for the citizen-led NoTax4Nash opposition to Mayor Cooper’s 32 percent property tax increase, draws attention to the ongoing COVID-19 shutdowns that are damaging to local businesses and, in turn, Nashville revenues.

“At a time when Mayor Cooper, with the acquiescence of the Council, are keeping businesses closed and citizens out of work, they are determined to pass a tax increase over the very loud and clear objections of their economically devastated constituents.”

Foreman addresses the Mayor’s inconsistencies in recent dealings with the public relative to his COVID-19 restrictions.

“Further, Mayor Cooper continues to demonstrate a lack of leadership by not only encouraging and participating in protests that violate his own ‘Roadmap for Reopening Nashville,’ but also in his use of Metro officials to issue citations harassing and abusing Nashville businesses simply because they oppose Mayor Cooper’s interference with their right to conduct business,” says Foreman.

From the vantage point of what had already happened in other U.S. cities plus violating his reopening plan, Mayor Cooper welcomed thousands to downtown Nashville for the protest-turned-riot on May 30.

Just two weeks later, 14 Nashville businesses were issued citations for not complying with social distancing or face mask protocols, reported NewsChannel 5.

Foreman also referenced polling results that reveal the unpopularity of Mayor Cooper’s property tax increase.

“A recent poll of Davidson County voters indicated overwhelming opposition to the Mayor’s proposed property tax increase, or any increase at all. By a huge margin of 2.5 to 1, voters opposed this unconscionable and most untimely tax increase.”

Nearly two-thirds of respondents to the poll conducted between May 21 and 22 said they were against a property tax increase, The Tennessee Star reported.

Additionally, slightly more poll respondents said that Metro council should disapprove Mayor Cooper’s budget with the 32 percent property tax increase, and most registered voters would be less likely to support a Metro Council candidate who voted to approve the budget that includes Mayor Cooper’s 32 percent property tax increase.

Yet, as Foreman points out, “It is evident that the Mayor and Council members do not believe they will suffer any consequences from their acts of ultimate betrayal.”

A very different story is being heard from citizens and businesses who are suffering through a devastating economy, says Foreman.

“They do not want their taxes increased, they want to go back to work and be able to pay their bills.”

Foreman concludes, “Recall is the only option left to citizens if a tax increase is approved at this time.”

To that end, the Charter of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County includes a provision for recalling the mayor, vice-mayor and council members.

Article 15 of the Metro Charter details that the removal and replacement of those officers starts with a petition that includes the signatures and addresses of 15 percent of the registered qualified voters of the council member’s district or Davidson

County as a whole for the mayor, vice-mayor or council members at large.

The entire NoTax4Nash.com press release can be read here.

Laura Baigert is a senior reporter at The Tennessee Star.

 

 

 

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10 Thoughts to “Grassroots Groups Pledge to Recall Nashville Mayor and Council Members Who Vote for a Property Tax Increase”

  1. Mike Hodge

    Love that the article had no facts about Nashville’s budget crisis, the state comptroller’s warning that he could take over city finances due to an unbalanced budget, the budget mess left by the last two administrations, the lowest tax rate in Metro’s history, the last three years’ need for a tax increase (losing by one to two votes), the low staffing rates of 911 call center, police, fire fighters, and teachers. No mention that the only way for downtown development — which benefitted from the city’s growth — to pay significantly more for solving the problems of growth is to raise taxes since homeowners pay on 25% of appraised value and commercial development pays on 40%. Great reporting! (NOT!). We can certainly disagree on the best course of action for taxes or any other city action. But at some point, we have to grow up and be adults and be honest about what we have been facing.

  2. William F Adelman

    #onetermmayor

  3. ROBERT HENDRICKS

    LETS DRAIN THE SWAMP GET THEM ALL OUT TELL YOUR FRENDS

  4. Fireguy

    Just let me know where to sign up. Very typical liberal thinking from this council and mayor. They still think they have to “take care of us.” They don’t care what the voters think. And to the people that voted them in- Hope you are happy with what you got.

  5. roger cofield

    we need a republican mayor. How can mayor cooper be recalled

    1. lb

      We had a great Candidate, Carol Swain. Solid Conservative, a true Leader instead the Voters wanted another incompetent liberal democrat.

      1. I truly wanted to vote for her but heard her answer a question about law enforcement on TV and she was against law enforcement mentioning a person’s race while tracking a criminal. Being more political correct or just defending one’s race instead of the public as a whole was sad to hear.

  6. Shellie Braeuner

    Don’t we have a law that requires any tax increase greater than 8% to be approved by a general referendum?

    1. Fireguy

      Seems like I remember something about that. Maybe that needs to be put on the next election ballet if it doesn’t. It would be a great time to get it on a ballet. Lower it to 4%.

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