Despite Boom, Nashville Prepares For ‘Status Quo’ Budget

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NASHVILLE, TN — Regularly topping lists of booming cities with a fecund economy, conventional wisdom would suggest Nashville shouldn’t be in danger of missing tax projections, but in a way, Metro fell victim to its own success.

With the recent re-appraisal, many Nashvillians saw their property tax bills skyrocket, with property values increasing by a median of 37 percent. Because of a state law that prohibits a municipality from increasing property tax revenue based on a reappraisal, anyone whose property value increased by less than the median would see a lower tax bill, but anyone with an increase above it saw an increase. The sharp increases on the appraisal led to a sharp increase in the number of appraisal appeals.

Assessor of Property Vivian Wilhoite said there were nearly 7,200 appeals with the Metro Board of Equalization this year, an increase of 45 percent. Ultimately, because of the appeals to both Metro and the state, in addition to what Wilhoite called "informal reviews" of appraisals, budget projections will miss revenue estimates by between $20 to $25 million, Mayor David Briley said Monday.

"We are going to need to maintain a status quo budget this year and be very cautious about how we spend money," he said at the first round of budget hearings.

Metro maintained a budget surplus of $220 million over the last two years and despite the revenue miss, Briley told The Tennessean he is not asking for a property tax rate increase.

Image via Shutterstock

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