Conservative Metro Councilman Robert Duvall wants Mayor Karl Dean to end the suspense and reveal whether he plans to propose a property tax increase in next year’s budget or not.
Historically, such a proposal would come on the day of the mayor’s State of Metro Address, when the mayor traditional unveils a budget for the next fiscal year, which this year is set for May 1 at 10 a.m. at the new Cumberland Park. Duvall, however, running as a Republican for House District 59, has asked Dean to go ahead and kill the speculation.
“I would like to stop the media noise we are all hearing about a property tax increase coming in the 2012-13 submitted Metro budget,” Duvall wrote to Dean in an April 10 letter .
“The only way we can end those rumors is by you taking a public position on the matter, and submitting a press release that you will not support or offer a property tax increase in the upcoming 2012-13 budget,” the Antioch-area District 33 councilman continued.
Metro’s last property tax increase occurred in 2005. Dean was able to avoid a tax hike in his first term, but it came at the price of substantially tighter government operations. There are 670 less Metro employees today than when Dean took office in 2007.
A potential property tax increase has been at the center of media speculation in part because Dean’s campaign committee polled Nashvillians on the matter over the winter .
Dean earlier this month wrapped up budget hearings with most Metro department heads, and will sit down with Director of Schools Jesse Register and the nine-member school board Friday morning to discuss the school board’s proposed $723 million budget, a massive $48.9 million increase over the previous year.
Asked after a previous budget hearing about a possible tax hike, Dean said a decision would come after final revenue figures are reviewed.
“Making a decision as to whether you ask for a property tax increase or whether you don’t, and how you present the budget, is probably the most important thing we do,” Dean said on March 26.
“But put this into context,” Dean added. “I’ve been mayor for four and a half years. I think I’m the first mayor in ages who’s gone a full term without a property tax increase. We did that because we operated a lean government.”
Duvall, in his letter, alludes to Dean’s 2007 run-off election against former Rep. Bob Clement. A Dean campaign commercial at the time  said he’s against raising taxes.
“During your previous campaign you specifically stood up and stated you would not support a property tax increase and challenged all other candidates to commit to the same,” Duvall wrote. “I know you are a man of your word, so I thought the best way to end the media rhetoric related to a property tax increase was to solicit the support of you, the mayor.”
Duvall concludes by saying that “in this economic environment, a property tax increase is the last thing the citizens of Davidson County would support.”
|Duval letter to mayor.pdf ||53.68 KB|