Davidson Co. Election Commission votes to appeal judge's ruling on charter referendum

election commission
Posted at 5:08 PM, Jun 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-25 23:27:43-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The Davidson County Election commission voted to appeal a judge's ruling to strike down the upcoming charter referendum on Metro's property tax.

Chancellor Russell Perkins issued the ruling on June 22, meaning the referendum on the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act would not be held on July 27 as previously decided by the commission.

The chancellor's ruling stated, "Given that the six Proposed Amendments are not severable, none of 4 Good Govemment’s proposed Amendments to the Metropolitan Government's Charter are permitted to be considered for referendum election on July 27, 2021."

If the commission wins the appeal, the commission's attorneys say the group 4GoodGovernment would not have to collect new signatures for a new election date since the signatures have already been certified.

The commission also conditionally set a new election date in September in case they win the appeal.

Jim DeLanis, the election commission chair, said even though it costs money to appeal, it’s worth it to get an opinion from a high court to have certainty.

"I’m afraid if we don’t appeal, we are just going to kick the can down the road," DeLanis said. "We are going to have another case like this maybe next year, it certainly looks like we will get another petition in the near future."

Mayor John Cooper issued a statement calling the vote a partisan decision:

“Instead of addressing Chancellor Perkins’ concerns, the Davidson County Election Commission made a hardline, partisan decision in a Republican-dominated environment. Now, even more taxpayer dollars will be spent on prolonging litigation, even though two judges have already conclusively ruled: what this invalid petition seeks to do is unconstitutional.”

The referendum is the second effort in less than a year by the group 4 Good Government to change Metro's charter on multiple topics but primarily property taxes.