Metro Nashville Council is expected to consider four substitute budgets, three of which include a property tax increase. Briley called increasing property taxes a "band-aid" approach that limits the city when planning for multi-year pay increases, affordable housing, transit and staffing for police and fire departments.
"A property tax increase requires an open public dialogue with time for residents to ask questions and get answers," Briley said in a press release. "This conversation needs to include clear facts about why we need the increase and where the dollars would go. I do not believe the public has had time to understand the impact of or the merits of the proposed increases being considered."
At the 2019 State of Metro Address, Briley announced his proposed $2.33 billion budget supports a 3% raise for all Metro Nashville employees, including teachers, as well as a $15 per hour minimum for all full-time government employees. The budget does not include a property tax increase, which would be the first increase since 2012.
"While not perfect, my budget does all of this without raising taxes this year," Briley said. "I know there’s more work to do, but it’s a strong start and an indication of where we are headed. All residents need time to understand where these dollars would go and how they would or would not affect the services they receive from their city."
The current property tax rate is $3.155 per $100 of assessed value in the Urban Services District, or neighborhoods that receive more city services. Residents who live in cities within the General Service District such as Belle Meade, Forest Hills and Oak Hill pay Metro Nashville $2.755 per $100 of assessed value.
The budget and finance committee will review the proposed budgets Monday, June 18, followed by a final vote Tuesday at the Metro Nashville Council meeting. If the vote is deferred, the council must finalize the budget by July 1.
Metro Nashville Council meets at 6:30 p.m. on the first and third Tuesday at the Metro Nashville Courthouse, 1 Public Square, Nashville.