NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The Davidson County Election Commission filed a lawsuit on Friday to seek guidance on the petition by 4GoodGoverment calling for a charter amendment related to limiting increases of the county property tax.
The election commission is asking the court to define the scope of the commission’s authority and to decide whether the petition satisfies the legal requirements for a ballot measure.
The commission held a public meeting on Sept. 25 to give any citizen an opportunity to speak about the proposed referendum which would lower this year’s property tax increase to 2% and cap the amount of increase at 2% in the future without a referendum.
The comments of the supporters and opponents of the measure made it clear that the legality of the petition would be tested in court. After the public comments, members of the Election Commission decided that the interests of the taxpayers and the city would be best served by seeking judicial guidance before voting on whether to place the referendum on the ballot.
“The Davidson County Election Commission must get this complex issue right for the taxpayers and for our city,” Election Commission Chairman Emily Reynolds said in a news release. “That’s why we have asked the court for clarity on the Commission’s role and responsibilities before we commit taxpayer dollars for a referendum election. Spending $800,000 on an election only to have it challenged in court would not benefit the supporters or opponents of the referendum.”
A legal opinion from Metro Legal said the measure is not constitutional.
The election commission has asked the court to expedite the process.
“It’s good that this issue has been put before a judge to be sorted out,” said Election Commissioner Tricia Herzfeld in a news release. “We have to get this correct the first time and we look forward to an expedited ruling.”
A hearing date before Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle has not been set.