Officials with a Nashville-based right-of-center think tank on Wednesday harshly criticized members of the Metro Nashville Council for jacking up property taxes by 34 percent.
Members of that think tank, the Beacon Center of Tennessee, said this in a press release.
“The Nashville City Council should be utterly ashamed about last night’s vote to raise property taxes. They had a chance to rebuff the mayor’s egregious tax hike proposal and stand with middle-class taxpayers, business owners who have been shut down by the government, and everyone in between. They had a chance to enact much-needed systemic reforms that could begin to right the city’s fiscal ship. Instead, they took the cowardly way out and raised taxes by 34 percent, an even greater amount than that proposed by the mayor, filling in the gaps with pork and special interest favors. Last night may very well be the turning point in Nashville’s growth and the day Nashville went from ‘It’ city to ‘It was’ city,” Owen said.
“Years of gross fiscal mismanagement resulted in this situation. Instead of working to fix the mistakes of the past and chart a better path forward, 32 Council members took the easy way out and voted to pass the buck to Nashvillians. Last night is just another indication that many Council members want to see us become another San Francisco or Seattle. The question is, do the voters?”
Nashville officials approved a tax hike that will increase funding for police and schools.
Nashville council members voted 32-8 after a lengthy debate that lasted until early Wednesday to approve a spending plan that includes a 34 percent tax hike. The spending plan will give cost-of-living increases to city employees, add $7.6 million for the school district and $4.9 million so that minimum wage for district employees will increase to $15 per hour.
The plan also included a $2.6 million increase for police, which the department says is needed to hire 48 recruits. The addition of that funding came despite some council members and community advocates rallying for reduced funding. The new budget will go into effect on July 1 and will increase Davidson County’s property tax rate by $1.066 per $100 of assessed value.
The new tax rate is the largest jump in Metro’s history, but it remains the lowest tax rate among Tennessee’s largest cities and counties.
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