The cancellation of the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum has prompted officials with Americans for Prosperity – Tennessee (AFP-TN) to renew their efforts to pass a state law to control a city or county’s reckless spending habits.
AFP-TN Grassroots Engagement Director Grant Henry explained the proposed law this week on YouTube.
“There is a proposed piece of legislation that Americans for Prosperity was very close to getting out of subcommittee last year, and we will follow it again. This proposal says when a city or a county has a reckless spending and debt problem like Nashville, any city or county that has a debt ratio over 10 percent, they, the city, will be required to mail a detailed notice to all citizens in advance of a proposed property tax increase. People will know exactly how much their individual taxes might go up. They will know what their current tax rate is, and they will know when this vote will be held,” Henry said.
“Furthermore, and perhaps most importantly, the citizens will have the opportunity to be heard before these officials actually cast their vote so officials can choose to listen to their constituents’ concerns during these public hearings or they can ignore those concerns while still holding public office. You understand the implication? The legislation will give taxpayers a fighting chance with multiple governments [and when] officials decide to levy this massive tax increase.”
Henry said this proposed change to state law wouldn’t limit property tax increases, but it would make local officials consider and think twice about increasing property tax rates. He also said Utah passed a similar law in 1985 that resulted in the state receiving not less but more property tax revenue.
The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum aimed to rescind Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s controversial 34 to 37 percent tax increase, which Cooper argued was to stabilize the city’s finances. If enacted by voters, the measure would have dramatically altered the budget of the city — immediately slashing $40 million.
Chancellor Russell T. Perkins, a Nashville judge, struck down the provisions of a referendum on the city’s taxes that was scheduled for July 27. The ruling invalidates the referendum and cancels the special election that was to be held, which would have allowed voters to determine the fate of the dramatic tax hike.
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