Members of the Davidson County Election Commission voted 3-2 Monday to allow voters the right to say yes or no to the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.
“The panel’s approval, along party lines, came after commissioners obtained a legal opinion from Vanderbilt University Professor Jim Blumstein, who was recently retained as the commission’s legal counsel. The opinion states it is the commission’s ‘duty’ to place the initiative on the ballot in 75 to 90 days,” according to The Tennessean.
“The Election Commission’s duty is to place the proposed amendments on the ballot for approval or disapproval by the voters of Metro,” an executive summary reads.”
One of the key players behind the proposed Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act predicted last month that, after several months of a legal battle, it would go to a referendum. But that same man, Nashville attorney Jim Roberts, said people who dislike the proposed referendum will continue to use the law to obstruct it and keep it from passing.
The referendum, if voters approve it, would roll back Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s 34 to 37 percent tax increase.
Members of the Davidson County Election Commission voted last month to use last year’s August election instead of last November’s election to determine how many signatures were needed on a petition calling for the referendum. Fewer people voted in the August election versus the November election
Roberts told The Star last month that he and his supporters turned in enough signatures.
“What you are going to see, probably very soon, is that they will vote to put it on the ballot and then some very dishonest groups are going to file just a plethora of lawsuits, making wild claims, misinterpreting the law, and they are going to try to overwhelm the commission and overwhelm us, which is very dishonest to argue with. That has already started, of course,” Roberts said at the time.
Roberts said he was optimistic that the proposed referendum has a fighting chance, given the new makeup of the Davidson County Election Commission.
As reported, two Republicans have replaced two other members of that political party on the Davidson County Election Commission. Davidson County Administrator of Elections Jeff Roberts — no relation to Jim Roberts — identified those two new men as Dan Davis and Ross Evans. Jim DeLanis now chairs the Election Commission, replacing now-former commissioner Emily Reynolds.
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