Judge Rules Against Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act


Davidson County Chancery Court Judge Ellen Hobbs Lyle on Tuesday gave members of the Davidson County Election Commission what they wanted and ruled against arguments in favor of the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.

The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum, if approved, would roll back Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s 34 to 37 percent tax increase.

As reported, Nashville attorney Jim Roberts fought the Davidson County Election Commission to get the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum on the December 5 ballot.

Roberts told The Tennessee Star Tuesday evening that he was still reading Lyle’s ruling and could not concisely describe everything in it.

“We knew from the start that Metro was going to fight this. The Tennessee law was clear. They wouldn’t be able to fight it until after the election,” Roberts said.

“And, so, by bringing in new standards they were able to challenge it, but one of the strategies we had was to figure out what their attack was, fix that problem and resubmit it. There is going to be another ballot initiative, and the same things are going to be on it, most likely.”

Davidson County Election Commission Chairwoman Emily Reynolds said in an emailed press release that she and her colleagues appreciated what they called Lyle’s thoughtful approach.

“The Commission said from the beginning that we needed to get this right, out of concern for the city and the taxpayers, particularly given the expense of a special election,” Reynolds said.

“Now we have the necessary guidance we were seeking.”

But members of two other organizations expressed their displeasure.

Justin Owen, president of the Nashville-based Beacon Center of Tennessee, said in an emailed press release that “taxpayers from every city and county across the state deserve a say when their property taxes are raised excessively.”

Beacon is a right-of-center think tank.

“Taxpayers deserve a say when it comes to property taxes. Cities like Nashville and Murfreesboro have spent irresponsibly for years and forced taxpayers to swallow the cost with huge property tax increases,” said Owen.

“Tennessee is one of only four states in the country without some type of property tax limitation, and it is well past time that we protect Tennessee homeowners and taxpayers. This isn’t a partisan issue, as 91 percent of Tennesseans believe they should have direct input on property tax hikes, compared to just 2 percent who oppose it. If a city or county wants to raise property taxes substantially, they should get the buy-in of the voters they represent.”

Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee State Director Tori Venable addressed Lyle’s ruling in a separate press release.

“This ruling is extremely disappointing for us, Nashville families, businesses and everyone holding on to hope that the government would listen to their outcry over the crushing 34 percent property tax hike,” Venable said.

“Metro has continually tried to silence and ignore 27,000 Nashvillians who signed this petition in support of putting some guardrails up on Nashville’s spending addiction that put the city in its current crisis. This property tax hike will do nothing to help our city’s finances; it will only fuel Metro’s reckless spending and taxing proposals.”

As reported in September, members of the Davidson County Election Commission voted to neither approve nor reject the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. They instead passed the matter on to a chancery court to guide them on how to proceed. They also moved the “conditional” date of the election from December 5 to December 15.

Roberts previously told The Star about a backup plan in case Lyle ruled against the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.

“We can mail out another 100,000 and 150,000 petitions to people’s homes and start collecting signatures,” Roberts said.

“Our goal would be to have it [the referendum] probably in late February.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Courthouse in Nashville” by Nicolas Henderson CC2.0.








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11 Thoughts to “Judge Rules Against Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act”

  1. LM

    A 34% property tax increase. A potential new Democrat president. Well let’s just go ahead and set that mandatory 15.00/hr minimum wage requirement , too , since according to the Democrats there won’t be any increased expenses passed on to renters, or increased unemployment because businesses won’t or can’t afford the minimum wage. And while we’re at it , let’s socialize medicine. That way nobody has any choice about their health insurance – it has to be purchased from a government run company. Now when people need health care they will just go ahead and die while they wait for it because their is barely any payment for services. Fits perfectly into the Dem’s plan. Too bad the Liberal voters don’t want to take their heads out of their butts and see it about to happen to them.

  2. Horatio Bunce

    Government employee judge rules in favor of other government employees to maintain revenue stream to both. Shocker. Direct financial conflict of interest.
    Time to abolish.

  3. rick

    Well this confirms Moscow on the Cumberland for Nashville. Commie Cooper and his communist minions have won again, citizens cannot vote that will no longer allowed under Democrat Commie Cooper’s reign. Everyone knew how this judge would rule. Wear your mask and pay your taxes to the king. Kiss his ring and he may spare you to live and pay another day, a city where citizens are reduced to nothing more than money transfer machines for Commie Cooper’s communist desires. Really sad. Soon we may have a Chinese bought and paid for mental moron for President and a Heels Up Vice President, what a lovely day. The American society and it’s government is no longer honorable it’s rife with corruption from top to bottom.

    1. james be

      cya covering cya

    2. TJ

      It will be 160 years since the start of the first & 2021 is the new 1861. While I hope for peace, if war is inevitable let it start while I’m still young & strong enough to fight. We are past the situation in this country being political, this will be a fight for the soul against evil of the highest. As a new TN resident from 5 years on the front lines of Los Angeles I know first-hand what is coming for the rest of the USA. Fight like hell because the “progressives” would love for you & your family to perish.

  4. Beatrice Shaw

    I believe the tax is needed….especially after the Covid losses and all the expenses. We also need more revenue to protect low income and minority citizens of Nashville. Renters , etc won’t be affected….just the major property owners. If you own a house in Davidson County you have some wealth and the property tax won’t be a burden as it has been described.

    1. james be

      your ship was sinking before covid. you need a new captain and federal dollars are helping with covid.

      typical communist thouht

    2. Wolf Woman

      @Beatrice Shaw. Your defense of the tax is sophomoric at best.

      After the business losses due to Covid and the resulting lay-offs, especially for Food service/hospitality employees, etc. who are low income and minority Nashvilllians, we especially don’t need a huge property tax increase like this one. It is enough to push small business owners over the edge into bankruptcy.

      Renters are affected as their landlords will pass the tax increase on to them (Economics 101).

      And many elderly people in the city are on a fixed (low) income and have most of what you call “some wealth” tied up in their homes. What are they supposed to do, forgo medications, food, electricity, what to pay their property tax?

      Meanwhile, you seem to not care at all that the past mayors and council members did nothing to curb expenses, knowing that there was a problem. They only added their pet projects to the budget and paid no attention to the needs of the city’s infrastructure which is falling apart. Why should we reward them with even more money to spend if they haven’t been fiscally responsible? We’ve had to cut our expenses in this economic downturn. Why can’t they?

    3. Mike

      Renters will pay a higher percent increase then homeowners since commercial property is taxed at 40%. The tax increase is not warranted or needed. Metro needs you to cut programs and people.

  5. John

    After seeing how Davidson county voted yesterday, they deserve every bit of this 35% property tax hike. That community agitator, Marquita Bradshaw, isn’t qualified to be dog catcher, let alone a US Senator. And how could you dims vote for Biden after you’ve seen what his support for masks and BLM have done to your business?

    Welcome to Nashville, the 𝖠̶𝗍̶𝗁̶𝖾̶𝗇̶𝗌̶ Detroit of the south.

    Congrats to RINO Hagerty, the lessor of two evils.

  6. Bubba N.

    Do another referendum solely to repeal the tax. Where can we contribute to help with the cost of gathering signatures?