WEB EXTRA: Property Tax Analysis for Metro Council

WEB EXTRA: Property Tax Analysis for Metro Council
Posted at 4:51 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 17:51:49-04

Members of the Metro Council voted against a proposed property tax increase last month that would have allowed Metro to make up for a budget shortfall, and to give promised raises to city employees.

The budget amendment, proposed by Council member Bob Mendes, called for an increase of 50-cents to the Metro property tax rate. It was narrowly defeated by a vote of 20-19. 

City-wide reappraisals are done every 4 years in Nashville by the Property Assessor's office.  By law, property reappraisals must be revenue-neutral, meaning the city can't make money on a reappraisal of existing construction.  Metro has traditionally increased the property tax rate after it reappraises property.

A viewer recently asked NewsChannel 5 Investigates if there might be any correlation between how council members voted on the property tax increase and how they fared with their own property taxes in the reappraisal. 

We analyzed the data and found no direct correlation. But the data does show that members who had received property tax reductions were more likely to vote in favor of increasing property taxes. Conversely, members who received property tax increases were more likely to have voted against the proposed tax rate increase.

But members we interviewed were quick to point out that it's a very complicated issue and that their personal tax assessments were not a factor in their consideration of raising taxes. Several told us that they just believe Metro needs to address it's current spending levels before they would consider a tax rate increase.

So how did the council members fare after last year's reappraisal? 25 members actually saw their property taxes decrease last year while 14 members saw their property taxes rise. (Note: The district 1 seat is vacant.) 

The cumulative total of property taxes paid by all Metro Council members amounted to $123,493 in 2016, but their cumulative tax bills fell 6.8% to $115,629, after last year's reappraisal.

Of the 16 Metro council members who saw their property taxes increase last year as a result of the reappraisal process, 6 of them voted in favor of an additional property tax increase, while the other 10 members voted against it.

Out of the 23 council members who saw their property taxes go down last year, 14 voted 'YES' on a property tax increase and 9 voted against the proposed increase.

As we reported, many of Nashville's wealthiest neighborhoods actually saw property tax bills decrease, because home values in the city's poorer neighborhoods increased at a higher rate.

Homes in Wealthy Neighborhoods Received Property Tax Decrease

This map shows the location of Metro Council members, click on each marker to see how your council member fared in the reappraisal and how they voted.

Below is a complete list of the Metro Council, sorted by the percentage of property tax change on their personal homes and how how they voted on the proposed tax increase.