Davidson Co. Election Commission requests 'expedited' court guidance on property tax referendum

Posted at 12:14 PM, Oct 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-09 21:23:17-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Davidson County Election Commission says it has asked the court to expedite its ruling to determine how commissioners should proceed with a proposed property tax referendum in Nashville.

Friday morning, the commission said it began the process of “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 said a release that this gives all parties “a seat at the table” to discuss legal issues of the petition. Commissioners asked the court to expedite the process in hopes of a timely decision.

“The Davidson County Election Commission must get this complex issue right for the taxpayers and for our city,” said Chairman Emily Reynolds. “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.”

The commission held a public meeting back on September 25 and discussed whether or not the petition – which was filed by the group 4GoodGovernment and would essentially repeal the property tax hike – should be placed on a ballot in a December special election.

During that meeting, commissioners decided to seek a declaratory judgment from Davidson County Chancery Court on the petition's validity and whether or not it should be placed on a ballot.

That means the commission will be filing a lawsuit in which Metro officials and the 4GoodGovernment would litigate over the legal sufficiency of the petition. A Chancery Court judge would then decide the validity of the petition and if it can be placed on a ballot.

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