Americans for Prosperity-Backed Bill Could Make Tennessee Politicians Think Twice Before Raising Property Taxes


A bill making its way through the Tennessee General Assembly would, if enacted into law, force local government officials to show homeowners exactly how much a property tax increase would take out of their bank accounts.

Americans for Prosperity -Tennessee (AFP-TN) spokesman Grant Henry on Tuesday identified this legislation by two different names: Stop Surprise Taxes or Truth in Advertising.

“It’s like when Nashville raised property taxes last year to around 34 percent. We pushed it last year, but it got stalled in subcommittee. What this would do is anytime a local government, like Nashville, wants to raise property taxes above the certified tax rate, they must send out a detailed notice to every single property owner in the area,” Henry told The Tennessee Star.

“It has to tell you what the current price is and your new price will be when they raise the taxes. Then they must have a public hearing so that anyone who is concerned is able to come voice their opinion. At that hearing, while elected officials are staring all their constituents in the face, they will have to vote it up or vote it down.”

Henry said such a law won’t stop all property tax increases, but it will make elected officials think twice before they vote to raise taxes.

AFP-TN unveiled its 2022 Legislative Agenda on Tuesday. The agenda calls on state legislators to repeal the Professional Privilege Tax, reform the state’s school funding formula to something more student-centered, fund the police through transparent budgets, and end civil asset forfeiture.

Henry said the state’s Professional Privilege Tax charges doctors, attorneys, lobbyists, stockbrokers, and people in the real estate industry, among others, a $400 fee “for the privilege of doing business in Tennessee.”

“It’s the last, dying vestige of the old income tax,” Henry said.

“We think it is time to get rid of it.”

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]




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6 Thoughts to “Americans for Prosperity-Backed Bill Could Make Tennessee Politicians Think Twice Before Raising Property Taxes”

  1. Kevin

    Great piece of legislation that will in all likelihood be “killed” by our Cameron Sexton/Randy McNally led super majority Republican legislature. It will be in a very subtle, seemingly innocuous way, but rest assured they will try their darnedest to “kill” it!

    And the reason for this is that, despite what they say, fundamentally all Republican run governments don’t want their hands tied! Maybe a better first step would be to not allow County employees to be on that County’s legislative body. Many County Commissions are full of County employees. Do you think that they want anything that may negatively impact their ability to raise their pay? Corruption and the “swamp” exists in many aspects of our government!

    1. 83ragtop50

      Kevin, Langford serves as a high level administrator in the Sumner County School District and on the County Commission. The legal advisor was asked if this is a conflict of interest and that loon said that it is not. So, I would love to see a bill prohibiting this to be passed. But I have no faith in the so-called GOP supermajority including my rep and senator. They rule like tax and spend liberals.

    2. Pandora

      You nailed it about the county employees on county commissions. Add to that the school board members who read a statement about not having a conflict of interest and go ahead and vote in favor of raises for their family members who work at the schools. They should be required to abstain when a conflict exists.

  2. Glenn

    Davidson county is deep blue and is as woke as anyone on the left coast. They don’t give two spits about property tax increases or anything else as long as it is a Democrat doing it.

    Remember when Nashvillians had the chance to replace Barry with someone who would actually do the job (standing up – not on their back) and not screw over their citizens? What did they do? They chose another Democrat instead.

    I’m sure their line of thinking went something like this. “This Democrat can’t be as bad as the last one.”

  3. Nancy

    Wow, This is great legislation! Property taxes are the greatest threat to seniors and the young buying and maintaining their homes. Please Tennessee legislature adopt this law and consider strengthening it by requiring referendums before a locality can pass higher property taxes. Local governments need to be held accountable for raising and spending property taxes.

  4. rick

    John “The Taxman” Cooper should be arrested for the what he did to raise the property tax rate in Nashville when he did and how much he did 34%, its criminal. The Chicago lawyer nut Mendes on the council wanted to raise it 40%. When you raise the tax rate where people are having are difficult time living it is CRIMINAL! Maybe sane people will never vote for a Democrat again. #FJC his brother and “Lets Go Brandon”