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City sues Davidson Co. Election Commission over Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act charter referendum

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Posted at 5:21 PM, May 11, 2021

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Nashville filed a lawsuit against the Davidson County Election Commission following its vote to allow a charter referendum on the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act (NTPA).

The suit was filed less than 24 hours after the commission voted to put the issue on a ballot. Metro argues the petition is unconstitutional and does not meet referendum requirements.

And the city is not alone. The Nashville Business Coalition also filed suit against the commission.

The NTPA will limit how much the city's tax rate could go up each year. It's being backed by a group called 4GoodGovernment. The first referendum attempt failed when a judge ordered the wording on the petition wasn't clear enough to put the proposal in front of voters.

In its initial form the NTPA would have rolled back the city's current property tax rate, leading to backlash from several city departments who said if that ballot measure had passed, it would result in severe cuts to several city departments and Metro Public Schools.

But backers told NewsChannel 5 that wouldn't be a problem again. "We took the petition and we made changes directly in response to the chancellor's order," said Jim Roberts with 4 Good Government.

The group filed a second petition which was certified on May 7. The election commission voted to allow the charter referendum Monday night.