Residents Choose Sides During Tax Hike Public Hearing

Dozens of Nashville residents turned out at a Metro Council meeting last night to voice their feelings on a proposed 53 cent increase in the property tax.

Among those who spoke were parents of students in Metro Schools, and city employees like AJ Price.

“I am supporting this budget because as a public librarian, I have a role to play in the education of Nashville’s children.”

Many speakers put their own spin on Mayor Karl Dean’s pitch for the tax increase–that a city has to be confident enough to invest in itself. A lion’s share of the money would go toward education.

Bruce McNeilage, however, says paying teachers more won’t raise test scores. He spoke alongside the dozens in neon green shirts who oppose the tax hike. McNeilage owns apartment complexes and rental property throughout the city and suggests the tax increase would be passed on to tenants.

“It’s not that I can’t afford it. It’s that people that are making $8 and $10 and $12 an hour living in my apartments can’t afford it.”

Ultimately, the Metro Council voted to approve the mayor’s budget and tax increase on a second of three votes.

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