Friday, August 28, 2020

Update. “Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act” petitions submitted.

by Rod Williams - The petition to put the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum on the December ballot has been turned in to the election commission.   

If passed, the Act would roll back Nashville’s 34% property tax increase and limit Metro Council's ability to raise property taxes.  If passed, tax increases would be limited to 2% annually, without voter approval. Any effort to raise taxes by more than 2% would have to go on the ballot for approval by the voters. 

Other things the Act would do are:
  • Block the the city from giving away land valued at $5 million or more without the support of 31 council members;
  • Require a voter referendum for any bonds totaling more than $15 million for city projects, excluding schools, libraries, healthcare buildings and public safety projects;
  • Have any Nashville pro sports facilities or related commercial development “revert to the people” if no games are played for more than 24 months; and 
  • Require any groups receiving $250,000 or more in public funds to be subject to open record laws.
The group submitted petitions with over 20,000 signatures. I do not know the minimum number that is required to get the petition on the ballot but the signatures will be carefully vetted by the Election Commission to see if they are valid signatures.  

Local attorney Jim Roberts is the person who drafted the Taxpayers Protection Act and led the effort to get it on the ballot.  Congratulations Jim! And, Thank you. 

I summarized this report from an article published in the Tennessean. That article says the referendum will be on the December 5th ballot.  I checked the Election Commission Calendar and they show no election scheduled for December 5th. Someone who is reliably informed told me there was some reason the question could not be on the November 3th ballot but they did not know the reason but there would be a special election on December 5th for this referendum. Being the only thing on the ballot should greatly enhance the chances of this passing.  On November 3rd a lot of casual low-information progressive voters will be voting and they greatly out number conservative voters in Davidson County and would probably vote against lower taxes.  They will not be motivated enough to go to the polls in a special election to vote against lower taxes, however and those opposed to the 37% tax hike are motivated. Assuming enough of the signatures are valid to meet the threshold, this is going to a vote and will pass!

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