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Davidson Assessor: Metro Council given ‘bogus’ info that would allow executive to avoid property tax

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NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - The property assessor of Davidson County said a Metro Council resolution passed last summer that ultimately would allow a BMI executive to avoid paying the Davidson County property tax hike was based on false information.

But Mason Hunter, assistant vice president of BMI, told News4 Investigates that he’s been working on moving the county line long before the property tax hike went into effect.

Davidson County Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite told News4 Investigates that the resolution incorrectly stated that Hunter’s home did not have access to Davidson County emergency services and Metro school buses.

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The resolution was introduced because Hunter’s home resides in Davidson County, but his long driveway is in Wilson County.

The resolution was placed on the Council’s consent agenda and passed 37-0.

Wilhoite said she was unaware that the resolution had passed and contacted Metro Schools and Davidson County emergency services.

In emails sent to Wilhoite, representatives from Metro Schools and Davidson County said that Hunter’s property does have access to their services.

She then sent an email to city officials, stating that they had been given “bogus reasons” to get their support.

“This is just simply not fair for other taxpayers in Davidson County,” Wilhoite said.

A similar resolution also passed in Wilson County.

Moving the county border ultimately can only be approved by the state legislature, and this week two bills calling for Hunter’s property to be moved to Wilson County passed through subcommittees.

In a committee hearing, Rep. Susan Lynn, R-Old Hickory, who is sponsoring the House bill, reiterated again that Wilson County emergency services is serving Hunter’s residence.

“(Wilson Emergency Management Agency) is the responding authority to calls at their home,” Lynn said.

But in an email from Davidson County emergency services, they provide services to Hunter’s address.

Property Assessor email
 
 

Wilson County assessor Stephen Goodall told News4 Investigates he does believe Hunter’s property should stay in Davidson County.

Goodall also said Hunter’s adjoining property with the driveway in Wilson County should be moved to Davidson County.

News4 Investigates reached Hunter by phone.

“Is this simply a way for you to avoid paying the property tax hike?” asked News4 Investigates.

“No. This process was started prior to any knowledge of any property tax increase,” Hunter said.

Hunter went on to say that while he may have Davidson County services, they have to drive through Wilson County to get to his home and up his driveway.

Wilhoite said if this legislation ultimately passes, prompted by a Metro resolution that contains false information, then it could prompt others on the border of the county to try and replicate the same effort.

“If we are going to allow this, this is going to open a Pandora’s Box,” Wilhoite said.

 

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Chief Investigative Reporter

Jeremy Finley is the chief investigator for News4 Investigates. His reporting has resulted in criminal convictions, legislative hearings before the U.S. Congress, and the payout of more than a million dollars to scam victims.

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