Nashville Mayor John Cooper warned this week that the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, if enacted, will disable the city, but the group that fought for it said Cooper’s time and energies are best spent helping taxpayers.
As The Tennessee Star reported last month, the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act would roll back Cooper’s 34-37 percent tax increase and limit property tax rate increases to 2 percent every year without voters approving it.
Voters are scheduled to decide during a December 5 referendum. Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee (AFP-TN) helped gather the requisite number of signatures to make that referendum happen.
In a press release, Cooper spokesman Chris Song said the amendment would, among other things, create a $332 million deficit for this fiscal year, threaten Metro’s credit rating, and suspend capital projects. He also said it would cut the city’s emergency response, schools, trash collection, and road repair services.
“Financial rating agencies would likely downgrade Metro’s financial outlook and outstanding bonds if the charter amendment is even placed on the ballot,” Song said in the press release.
“This may result in increased borrowing costs and limit Metro’s ability to complete significant transactions and refinancing. A credit rating downgrade would make every city project more expensive for taxpayers.”
AFP-TN State Director Tori Venable addressed Cooper’s press release in an email to The Tennessee Star Tuesday.
“His [Cooper’s] first statement said they would cut police & fire jobs, instead of furloughing even one position from Nashville’s over-bloated government bureaucracy,” Venable said.
“Now he claims it will render schools unrecognizable – which they already are based on MNPS inability to fully open schools or at least give parents a viable option that works best for their children.”
Venable, in a press release of her own, said that Nashvillians “now can have their say on this harmful 34 percent property tax hike.”
“If the government can’t restrain itself, we the people will act to restrain the government. Mayor Cooper’s unrealistic scare tactics won’t work; we look forward to voters proving it at the polls and making their voices heard in December,” Venable said.
“What’s dangerous is the fact some members of the Metro Council are already plotting to reject voters and taxpayers having their voice heard on this issue that will have real consequences for families and businesses. The Metro Council needs to stop looking for ways to force this tax hike on Nashville and focus on addressing the root causes of reckless spending and cronyist taxpayer-incentive deals that put us in this situation.”
As reported last month, Nashville attorney Jim Roberts said that Metro officials “clearly don’t like having power taken away.”
“Nashville is on its way towards financial stability. The citizens have clearly rejected Mayor Cooper’s big-spending spree put on the backs of home owners and renters,” Roberts told The Star in an email.
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