A battle over rolling back the 34% tax hike that went into effect in Nashville last year — and restraining the local government’s power — is coming to a head.
The Davidson County Election Commission expects to vote this week on whether to put the question to the voters. The commission delayed a final decision over the weekend, and instead opted to conduct another review of whether the referendum’s backers collected enough signatures to trigger an election.
It’s the second attempt to force a public vote on the tax increase.
This effort would alter what city services residents have access to.
The last time the group 4 Good Government, led by Nashville lawyer Jim Roberts, attempted to place a petition on the ballot, the city warned of many devastating cuts. MNPS class sizes would increase, more than 500 fire department workers wouldn’t have jobs anymore and trash pick up would move to two times a month.
The petition ended up being killed in court because several of its efforts were deemed illegal.
So the group took another swing at restricting elected officials’ power in Nashville. The eye-catching goal of limiting property tax rates is back on the table, with some revisions. It intentionally comes as the city is putting together next year’s budget and deciding the new tax rate, which will have to be adjusted because of new property appraisals.
Attorneys for the city have raised more legal questions about the referendum. They’re urging the election commission to delay a vote until those can be resolved. But it could go before Nashville residents as soon as this summer.