Mayor Dean proposes to increase property taxes - WSMV News 4

Mayor Dean proposes to increase property taxes

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean unveiled his new budget Tuesday morning, which included a proposal for a 53-cent property tax increase to Davidson County residents.

At the annual State of Metro address, Dean said the proposal will raise the tax on a $145,000 home to $192 more a year. 

The mayor said the property tax increase will generate $100 million in new annual revenue for the city.

"As long as I'm mayor, I am going to do everything I can to grow our tax base and grow more jobs for our citizens.  In my mind, it's a choice between doing what it takes to keep our city strong, or letting our city fall backward," said Dean.

Other Dean budget proposals:

  • Hire 100 new teachers and increase the salary of first year teachers to $40,000 
  • Increase the salary of Metro employees by 4 percent
  • Use $300 million for school capital spending, including renovations to Stratford High School and the gym at Hume-Fogg High School
  • Adding two new non-traditional schools

"Even with this adjustment, the effective tax rate will still remain lower than it was when I took office," said Dean.

City leaders have been busy with budget hearings over the past month. Several departments said they need more money, including schools, police and fire.

Taxpayer watchdogs say this absolutely not the right thing for Nashville and are letting Nashville residents know that now is the time to let your voice be heard.

"I was flabbergasted. I didn't expect this large a tax increase," said Ben Cunningham, with the group TN Tax Revolt. "The taxpayers have got to become part of this process, this conversation."

Metro Schools director Dr. Jesse Register said the teachers' raises and building improvements signifies an important step for education.

"It's an investment in quality schools, quality education it's an investment in people and for our future here," he said.

The Metro Council still has to approve the mayor's budget. While many council members are keeping an open mind, some said their mind is already made up.

"My constituents are not going to stand for a property tax increase," said councilman Robert Duvall. "I've had absolutely no one in support of it in my district. I've had numerous telephone calls emails opposing it. I'm not going to support a property tax increase."

But some homeowners like Jennifer Lanier said they are willing to pay more to help improve education in Nashville.

"Just knowing that it will help the teaching system, it makes you feel good knowing that it will go to a good cause," Lanier said.

But others wonder if a tax increase is necessary.

"I definitely see the need to support our police officers and our teachers. However a property tax is very concerning," Carla Circy said.

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