Metro Council member proposes alternative budget with 34% property tax increase

metro courthouse generic
Posted at 10:17 PM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 23:37:13-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A new budget proposal would increase Metro property tax rates by 34 percent, as opposed to Mayor John Cooper's plan, which would raise rates by 32 percent.

"Certainly, the rate increase is necessary," at-large council member Bob Mendes said. Mendes is also chair of the Metro Budget and Finance Committee.

Mendes submitted two alternate budgets on Wednesday: one with Cooper's 32 percent property tax increase and one with a 34 percent increase. Mendes said his

"the biggest difference [between my budgets and Mayor Cooper's] is that both my proposals do more to help those who are hurt the most by the rate increase," Mendes said. He added that his proposals have fewer cuts to services, and more room for the city to build savings.

"We're going to end the fiscal year on June 30 with a couple days cash in the bank, and even the mayor's budget just proposes to get us back to having a couple weeks of cash, so we're gonna go from living day to day to paycheck to paycheck," Mendes said.

You can read a full breakdown of Mendes' budget on his website.

But the proposal has already drawn criticism from a fellow at-large council member.

"We need to be respectful of where [the taxpayers'] wallet is," council member Steve Glover said. Glover opposes both of Mendes' plans and Mayor Cooper's plan, saying there's too many tax increases and not enough cuts.

"Taxes are going to go up. there's no doubt, there's no doubt," Glover said. "But we cant come out of this thing at the expense of the taxpayers pocket alone."

A virtual town hall to discuss the budget proposals is scheduled for Tuesday. If the Metro Council does not pass its own budget by June 30th, the mayors budget will automatically go into effect.