The Tennessee Supreme Court says it will not intervene early in a dispute between Nashville and the Davidson County Election Commission over an anti-tax referendum — the latest blow to an effort to restrict the powers of city officials.
In an order issued late Friday, the court said it sees no need to speed up the case and will instead let it work its way through the normal appeals process. The referendum’s backers, which include Republicans on the Davidson County Election Commission, had wanted the Supreme Court to settle the case so the vote can take place in September.
Lawyers for the city say the referendum is illegal for a number of reasons — ranging from a lack of clarity about the vote’s timing to conflicts with state law. Last month, a judge in Nashville agreed. That stopped plans to hold the vote this summer.
The referendum was spurred by last year’s 34% property tax increase, but even if it were approved by voters, it would come too late to roll back tax bills. The referendum would set a tight cap on future tax increases, put changes to Metro councilmembers’ benefits packages to public votes, and make it easier to recall city officials.