A Nashville attorney is making a second attempt at weakening Metro government’s power.
The first anti-tax referendum from the group “4 Good Government” received enough signatures to be placed on a ballot. But in November, a Davidson County judge said it couldn’t go before voters because it violated state law in several ways.
Now the new “Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act” petition has been revised from feedback given in court with the goal of voters weighing in — by May 28 or June 14, which is just before the city councilmembers vote on the upcoming budget.
Attorney Jim Roberts says the group is sending out 200,000 petitions to Davidson County residents.
Last year, Metro increased the property tax rate by around 34%. Petition writers say want the rate from 2019-2020, if not lower, for at least two fiscal years.
“People certainly have the right to complain,” Mayor Cooper’s interim press secretary Andrea Fanta says. “But now is no time to get distracted or be divided — not when 700,000 people are counting on us to get the city’s work done.”
Mayor John Cooper released his capital spending budget proposal last Friday.
Fanta says it’s too soon to comment on what the plan is for the upcoming rate. So right now, it’s unclear what effect the petition will have.
Petition writers heard the judge’s concern about the use of marketing language, and the new version is toned down. Instead of bold labels like “no giveaway of our parks, greenways or public lands” it’s now “protect publicly-owned parks, greenways and lands”
In addition to limiting the tax rate, the group also wants to get rid of elected officials’ lifetime benefits, which the city has a special committee already looking into. On top of that, the petition wants to lower the signature threshold for recalling elected officials.