As Nashville undergoes its citywide property value reassessment, the mayor is signaling that a lower tax rate is likely. That’s not unusual, but you wouldn’t have known that from the response online Friday.
After Mayor John Cooper appeared on local TV news stations to talk about the tax rate, his message was misinterpreted as a major tax cut. The mayor’s comments came a day before the Davidson County Election Commission is scheduled to verify if there’s enough signatures on the grassroots petition to force a referendum on the city’s recent, 34% property tax increase, and his remarks got a huge response from confused Nashvillians on social media.
Uh…I paid my increased taxes in January.
Do I get a refund?
How about everyone else?
— Nina Bina (@NinaBina4Peace) April 16, 2021
Let’s go!! Good job @JohnCooper4Nash I still think you’re a terrible mayor but this is a step in the right direction.
— Justin Paul Guidry (@JGid15) April 16, 2021
Guess he saw what was coming. A massive election loss. But, I am sure he is still busy scheming how he can raise taxes somewhere else, and will never run out of ideas on how to spend it.
— Bob (@bobmindedness) April 16, 2021
Cooper says the tax rate will probably end up where it was two years ago, which is close to an all-time low for Nashville, but specific data from the property assessor has not yet been shared.
Many confused residents mentioned Nashville’s recent, record-high 34% property tax increase since, in his interview with NewsChannel5, the mayor said, “That ends up being reversed.” The muddled message quickly drew the ire of Metro Council members, who pointed out that the rate Nashvillians are taxed is a different metric entirely.
Just watched it. It's misleading.
It incorrectly suggests fiscal stewardship is why the reassessment will drive the rate down & incorrectly suggests the amount of taxes paid will go down.
His social media is trying to fix it, but he'll answer questions about this for a while. https://t.co/QJULB2L0mk
— Bob Mendes (@mendesbob) April 16, 2021
This kind of framing happens when local media doesn’t give context: this a property reassessment year, and the rate must be revenue-neutral, by state law. The real question will be whether the bulk of reappraisal increases occur at giant commercial properties or Nashville homes. https://t.co/n9gjwIObX4
— Colby Sledge (@Sledgefor17) April 16, 2021
It’s typical for the city’s tax rate to decrease every four years when Metro evaluates property. That’s because Tennessee law says the city can’t collect a tax windfall when assessors find that values are up. So as property values rise, the tax rate has to come down.
But the impact on individual property owners’ tax bills will vary. Some could pay more, and others less, all so that Metro collects the same amount. Generally, owners in hot real estate areas will still pay higher taxes.