Tea Party group preps fight against Dean's tax hike proposal

Monday, May 7, 2012 at 12:11pm

The Nashville Tea Party, in a move that was widely expected, is beginning to rally its troops in opposition of Mayor Karl Dean’s proposed tax hike, a plan that would mark Davidson County’s first tax increase in seven years.

The local tea party group, founded over the winter by anti-tax advocate Ben Cunningham, a Sumner County resident, has organized a May 10 meeting to discuss organizational and strategy tactics to defeat Dean’s proposed 53-cent increase to the city’s $4.13 property tax rate.

“We’re trying to get people out in the community together to discuss the best way to oppose it,” Cunningham said. “We have some hand-outs and we’re going to talk about organizing some ‘literature drops’ where we gather at a busy intersections and try to get people to call their council person.”

Cunningham claimed taxpayers have been “shut out” of the property tax debate.

The Tea Party-backed meeting to discuss Dean’s tax plan is set for 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10 at the Real Estate Investors of Nashville offices on Music Valley Drive.

According to Cunningham, the Nashville Tea Party has a mailing list of more than 3,000 Davidson County residents. If enough funds are raised, the organization may opt to send mail-pieces to residences.

Whether the Nashville Tea Party shifts the public discourse on Dean’s tax proposal before the Metro Council weighs in on it in June remains to be seen. Efforts could result in a lot of noise but little sway on the 40-member council, which tends to support the mayor’s policy agenda.

For now, the strategy is pretty simple: contact Metro Council members. “That’s got to be the focus,” Cunningham said.

In the six days that have passed since Dean unveiled his tax increase proposal, folks weighing in on the mayor’s tax plan have flooded the email inboxes of council members.

On the other side of the issue, Dean himself used his mayoral email account last week to urge Davidson County citizens to contact their council representatives to support his proposal, which he contends is necessary to avoid draconian citywide cuts and make long-neglected investments. The subject of Dean’s email read, “I need your help.”

“How can you help?” Dean wrote. “Talk to your neighbors and your representatives on the Metro Council and let them know that you support the plan to move Nashville forward. And help me explain why it’s necessary.”

Stuck in the middle of the tax hike politics are 40 council members. Emily Evans, one of the council members who will make the ultimate decision on raising taxes, tweeted about the flurry of email activity last week.

“A gazillion more emails from people who don’t want us to raise property taxes AND are mad that the Mayor told them to write Council,” Evans wrote on her twitter account.

41 Comments on this post:

By: slzy on 5/7/12 at 11:44

what would it take to recall dean?

By: Rasputin72 on 5/7/12 at 12:05

Come on Tea Party! or anybody that can stop this madman from his madness about taxation above and beyond any other county in Middle Tennessee.

By: spooky24 on 5/7/12 at 1:33

Bad Idea- They are (again) underestimating Dean's political machine and the money behind it. He knows he has the votes or it would never have gotten this far. The finance director's office is lying about somethings-mainly that 41c is going to debt service from the first refinancing deal Dean struck in which no details were ever released. Getting these groups firing off at the council is just part of the plan.
A perfect reason that I, and many others, don't help and support these 'no tax' groups is because they are so politically native.


By: Vuenbelvue on 5/7/12 at 1:55

Does Mayor Dean mean that a $.50 +- increase in property tax would bring in a revenue stream of $100 million annually or that it would allow his administration to borrow $100 million more? Money that would be paid back over time with interest.

By: sharko20 on 5/7/12 at 3:51

I hope Nashville resident and economist extraodinaire Art Laffer will come to the aid of all who reside in Davidson county.

By: pswindle on 5/7/12 at 4:29

Why is a Hendersonville man (Tea Party) taking on Davidson County? For or against a tax, we do not need someone from sumner country telling us what to do in Davidson County. The Tea Party sure has long noses, but Nashville is not the place to put them.

By: Shadow63 on 5/7/12 at 5:09

Dean is selling Nashville voters down the drain to insure his own future. It's time for the taxpayer to show the government we are paying attentionto their financial chicanery.

Personally pswindle I accept help wherever is comes from.

By: Shadow63 on 5/7/12 at 5:12

So Spooky, we should just throw up our hands in defeat before a shot is fired. (so to speak)

By: JayBee56 on 5/7/12 at 9:29

slzy, here's what the Metro Charter says about recall:
"Sec. 15.06. - Recall of metropolitan officers.
The mayor, vice-mayor and members of the council and metropolitan board of public education may be removed from such office by the qualified voters of the metropolitan government or of a councilmanic or school district according as the official sought to be removed has been elected by the voters of the metropolitan government or of a councilmanic or school district at any time except during the first one hundred and eighty (180) days or the last one hundred and eighty (180) days of their terms, in the manner hereafter provided.
Sec. 15.07. - Procedure in general.
In order to recall an official set out in Section 15.06 of this Metropolitan Charter, a petition demanding the election of a successor of the person sought to be removed and containing a statement of the reason(s) why removal is sought must be filed with the metropolitan clerk. The only purpose of such statement is to furnish information to the electors.
A recall petition for the offices of mayor, vice mayor, and councilman-at-large shall contain signatures and addresses of registered qualified voters in number equal to fifteen (15) percent of the registered qualified voters in Davidson County; a recall petition for the offices of metropolitan board of public education and district councilmember shall contain the signatures and addresses of registered qualified voters in number equal to fifteen (15) percent of the registered qualified voters of the district from which the officer was elected. The above percentages shall be computed from the total number of qualified registered voters for each office according to the latest official count of registered qualified voters made by the Davidson County Election Commission thirty (30) days prior to the date the recall petition is initially filed with the metropolitan clerk. The signatures and addresses to any recall petition need not all be appended to one sheet of paper. The verification of the signatures shall be made by the Davidson County Election Commission and certified to the metropolitan clerk."

By: Ask01 on 5/8/12 at 4:30

I'll sign any petition to remove Mayor Dean from office.

By: Moonglow1 on 5/8/12 at 5:49

Moonglow1: The Tea Party should be protesting against corporate welfare. They should protest at the HCA headquarters. Why? Because Dean gave HCA a huge tax cut to locate an office in Antioch. I don't doubt Davidson needs revenue without any increase in seven years but take the money back from corporate entitlements first.

By: TRHJR on 5/8/12 at 9:01


By: jvh2b on 5/8/12 at 10:23

Just for the record people...raising taxes is not an offense worthy of removing from office.

Especially since you all seem to conveniently forget that the tax rate AFTER the increase will STILL be LOWER than when Dean came into office.

And I really do wish all those NOT in Davidson County would quit whining about something that doesn't affect them in the slightest.

Pesky facts.....

By: Jughead on 5/8/12 at 11:26

I am sick of the gov't ALWAYS asking for more $$$, especially when every other business must cut back.

And, it doesn't matter how much cash you throw at schools--it will never be enough, and the schools will remain pathetic, apathetic, day-care centers.

By: yucchhii on 5/8/12 at 1:06

I see that pretty much all the comments here in are people who have their eyes somewhat open! Now, just think, how many more criminals there are ALL OVER THE COUNTRY RUNNING THE USA! THE DISHONERABLE MAYOR KARL DINK is just "ONE" of the many CRIMINALS running this country! NOW, do you understand what the OCCUPY PROTESTORS are tryng to do? Too many people want to ridecule the protestors and make false accusations against them and they believe the news about the protestors that make false accusations when the situations are taken OUT OF CONTEXT!! To bad you weren't out there to support the protestors instead of rideculing them. Just think, if everybody in the USA who are tired of the BS from politicians stood their ground and told the politicians to GET LOST!! WE THE PEOPLE could get OUR country back!!! Let's tell THE DISHONERABLE MAYOR KARL DINK to GET LOST!!!

By: Ask01 on 5/8/12 at 5:50

I could be wrong, however, I believe if sufficient citizens sign a petition seeking to remove a sitting politician, they can decide what criteria they are using to judge performance and behavior.

Raising taxes works for me.

Many, I believe, consider asking for an increase just below the threshhold to trigger a voter referendum, while legal, still somewhat questionable and even dishonorable. Of course, I know many are still angry they were not given the opportunity to vote on the new convention center, which we all know isn't financed by property taxes yet.

It seems curious how politicians hand out corporate tax breaks to broker deals bringing businesses to areas with the hope they will provide employment. (Of course, the quality of the jobs concerned is usually never a topic.) It is too bad we cannot award tax breaks to those who come to town and actually create the jobs they promise as opposed to the other way around.

Also curious, is how elected employees like Mayor Dean, after managing to spend all sorts of money on pet projects, suddenly lift their heads from the sand, or wherever, and declare our schools substandard, and bemoan cuts in vital services if taxes are not raised. This seems backwards to me. The city should take care of required expenses first, then seek a tax increase for nice to have items. I mean, I would like all manner of electronic toys, but necessary items must be bought first, since I can't pick my neighbors pockets like politicians to satisfy both wants, I must deal with the basics first.

By: Ask01 on 5/8/12 at 7:26

I am sorry.

Upon re-reading my post, I feel I expressed myself poorly on the subject of tax breaks for businesses.

The point I wished to make was in a perfect taxpayer world, we would award tax breaks to businesses after they actually create jobs, not give them breaks in hopes they will provide meaningful employment after they have taken the money.

I hope that clarifies any questions.

By: JayBee56 on 5/8/12 at 7:42

Ask01, you are correct. Tax breaks should come after a business has been up and running and brought the jobs. Then government can more realistically judge what type of tax break, how much, and its duration. It's easy to spend other people's money. Too easy.
I also read the criteria for recall the same way. A metro official can be recalled for any reason as long as it's later than 180 days after their term begins and prior to 180 days before their term ends. If enough of the citizens sign the petition and it is validated by the metropolitan clerk, it's pretty clear that the citizens want that official removed.

By: standingonthetop on 5/8/12 at 10:43

I hope all you LIBERAL IDIOT ASSHOLES are happy with YOUR selection for Mayor! You asked for this prick...NOW LIVE WITH HIM! I hope your taxes go through the friggin' roof!

I'm soooo glad I decided to move to Williamson County, and if YOU ALL had ANY intellect at all you'd move elsewhere as well! SCREW NASHVILLE!...It's been turned into nothing but a mindless LIBERAL "mini San Francisco" fag-o-rama CESSPOOL and melting pot for illegals! Thanks Mayor Dean for destroying my home town!...you son of a bitch!

By: standingonthetop on 5/8/12 at 11:00

This asshole Mayor could care less about ANYONE!....ESPECIALLY metro employees! There hasn't been a pay raise (not even cost of living) in over 7 years for metro employees, but Mayor Dean can build stupid shit like needless parks and greenways, and spend OUR money all the other wasteful ways he does and almost dare Nashville citizens to try and stop him while he laughs about it on TV! What a jagoff this dipshit is!

By: itsmyfirstday on 5/9/12 at 5:52

Per Dean if we don't raise taxes the only place in the budget to cut is our first responders and teachers....but if taxes are raised he will spend millions on more projects??
How stupid does he think we are?

By: treehugger7 on 5/9/12 at 6:47

As a liberal idiot asshole, I am happy with the mayor. Tax increases are a fact of life, if you want to see successful communities. If you don't want successful communities and cities, you are the reactionary right wing idiot. Now that we have called each other names, what is your solution?!

By: i.am.a.taxpayer on 5/9/12 at 6:47

Almost everything has increased in cost during the last five years. When compared to urban areas throughout the country, Nashville's tax rate is not that high.

I'm not sure why somebody from Sumner County is starting a campaign about Davidson County. Surely Sumner County has some problems he should be addressing.

By: Moonglow1 on 5/9/12 at 7:35

Moonglow1: To the person who moved from Davidson to Williamson-good riddance. Now you can be thrilled among your Tea Group who reside there and represented by The Light bulb Queen (Marsha Blackburn). Too bad her light bulb is never on. She's always in the dark and clueless.

By: pswindle on 5/9/12 at 8:31

Nashville and Davidson County could have stood still and and not grown and died on the vine. I hate taxes, but they are needed for growth. Nashville is getting ready to play with the big boys.

By: trtay2004 on 5/9/12 at 9:13

I live and own 5 properties in Davidson county. I'm proud of Nashville and the city is becoming. I owe a lot to the people that make our lives so wonderful here. I small tax increase (again though that is less than the tax rate when Dean took office), is fine by me. To quote the Bible "give to Caesar what belongs to Caesar, and give to God what belongs to God." Christ was for paying your taxes!!!!

By: govskeptic on 5/9/12 at 10:06

While Christ spoke on paying taxes "demanded" of you from the government,
didn't mean you were not suppose to protest what was being "Demanded!"
Another selected scripture used out of context by the big spenders!

By: Radix on 5/9/12 at 10:21

trtay2004 You fundamentally misunderstand the context and the point that Jesus was making.

Mayor Dean lost me at "Foreward". Count me in Tea Party!

By: Radix on 5/9/12 at 10:48


A tax break is not an 'entitlement'. This is the fundamental flaw of liberals. They think the government owns all money, and letting an entity keep what they earn is an "entitlement". Requiring less tax of an entity is not "welfare" or an "entitlement". Giving handouts to someone who doesn't work or contribute IS.

Get it straight!

Not to mention, for the government to offer incentives for a corporation to locate in a certain area is a good thing, maybe it helps the people of that area with jobs or additional customers for restaurants at lunch time etc... Accomplishing this with a tax breaks as opposed to handouts is a win/win. Thank God you aren't running things Moonglow. Your brand of shortsightedness is rampant in the Dem party these days.

By: MetalMan on 5/9/12 at 11:17

Hey spooky - what does "...so politically native" mean? Does that mean if you live in Nashville you'r a political NATIVE?

BTW It's interesting how King Dean comes around with his hand out after dumping millions of our tax dollars on sports arenas and all manner of other private enterprises. Typical tax and spend liberal. But then again, I guess I'm being too "political native."

By: Ask01 on 5/9/12 at 6:26

Allow me to once again call attention to several point.

The first items on the block if the tax increase is not passed are traditionally 'hot button' issues. Schools, police, fire department, and other services dealing with public safety.

Why not close down the parks? Some savings could be realized in that arena, I'm certain. I am equally certain we could gut upper management like a fish, reducing head count in the front office while keeping those who actually work on the job. With fewer bosses, cost are lowered and the system might function more efficiently.

My favorite is the order in which Mayor Dean has conducted his administration. He worked tirelessly securing the MCC as his Pharonic Monument, courting businesses with tax breaks, and trying to undermine the Fairgrounds and Raceway so he could get his hands on the property even though he continually claimed to have no plans for the site.

Once most of his agenda was fulfilled, he turns his attention to the basic needs of the community, suddenly realizing the schools are in disrepair, the police department is in danger of losing officers, and the fire department has needs which must be addressed.

Oh, and he suddenly realized those who actually make the city work in spite of his leadership need raises, such a humanitarian he is.

Why did he not take care of the needs of the communtiy first before working on his agenda? Hmmm? Once the schools and the rest of the infrastructure were sound, he could have asked for a tax increase to cover his agenda to pad his resume.

Let's talk about his reluctance to let the people have a voice.

The MCC was approved without the citizens being allowed to vote. I don't care if the Metro Council did vote for the facility, almost everyone I've talked to was not in favor of the project. Plus, I don't trust, nor do I have any faith in the Metro Council.

Don't you just love the way the tax increase is set just below the threshhold to trigger a referendum?

Hey Karl!!! What's the matter? Are you too scared of the voters, or do you doubt your ability to fool the people again so soon?

But hey, Nashville, you elected him! I have a clear conscience as I voted against Mayor Dean and will vote against him again anytime I am able in hopes of derailing any political dreams he may secretly herbor.

By: JayBee56 on 5/9/12 at 8:35

Ask01, couldn't have said it better myself. The order you listed is what a mayor should do - take care of the needs of the community and then if there is money left over, look at other areas. But Mr. Dean has chosen to focus on dessert first and now wants us to pay in advance for what he should have been doing from the beginning. We need to stop electing opportunists to office and elect real citizens who don't have something to prove. There are a lot of talented people out there who could do the job better.

By: Ask01 on 5/10/12 at 4:34

Thank you JayBee56.

I believe all here are mature enough to acknowledge taxes, while despised , are what pays for services upon which we all depend. Much as I hate to admit that fact.

However, if you have a plumbing problem or an electrical problem, you deal with those issues before you invest in the new garage you claim to need to protect the new car you bought bringing your credit rating dangerously close to being down graded.

Using that analogy, Mayor Dean should have addressed those items so seemingly concerning him now before he invested so deeply in niceities and handing out tax breaks to companies claiming (hoping for?) job creation.

To bring this even closer to home for many, consider you give your teenager say, $1000.00 (This is just for an example. Actual dollar amounts will be higher) for mechanical upkeep on a car, but said offspring opts to buy new mag wheels and pinstripes. Your financially challenged child then comes to you and claims to need more money, citing the same problems the original grant was supposed to cover.

This is the situation with Mayor Dean, Metro Council, and most all politicians who can pick taxpayer pockets once they have spent themselves into a corner.

If Mayor Dean actually feels concern, he should, as I said limit the pain to the upper echelon of Metro management, slashing the exhorbitant salaries, or laying them off indefinitely, and using the windfall to fund the downtrodden at the bottom of the pay scale who actually, physically do work to benefit society as opposed to sitting behind armor plated desks working tirelessly for the 1%.

As stated previously, I will attach my signature to any petition seeking to depose Mayor Dean and in fact most of the Metro Council.

Let the Tax Revolt of 2012 begin!!

By: budlight on 5/10/12 at 5:45

By: pswindle on 5/7/12 at 5:29
Why is a Hendersonville man (Tea Party) taking on Davidson County? For or against a tax, we do not need someone from sumner country telling us what to do in Davidson County. The Tea Party sure has long noses, but Nashville is not the place to put them.

So I take it swindle that you are FOR raising taxes?

Logically if Davidson county raises their taxes and whine that the teachers need a raise, the other counties will be next in line for their mayors to follow suit. They will say, "we are losing our teachers to the higher paying Davidson County, so we need to raise taxes to pay teachers more" and so on. I pay enough taxes. If someone from another planet could lead the charge to fight the "over the moon Dean tax and spend plan", I'm for it. ET where are you when we need you?

By: Lealand419 on 5/10/12 at 1:56

ANYTHING the so-called "Tea Party" opposes must be well worth active support! (even more taxes)

By: thinking12 on 5/10/12 at 6:22

Ask01 has my vote!
Some common sense will carry us all further than all this political posturing by Dean,the Metro council and the MNPS Board.

I like some of his(Dean) projects-but at my house I have to do the maintenance work(ugh!) before I get to build the new deck and that is all we're all saying.

Why would police and libraries top the "cut" list and not the huge increase in the school(read "babysitting") budget or the other superfluous increases in the budget?

I do a good job for a position I accepted-if I got paid more (read"teachers") would my performance improve ? Would yours?
If someone(read Mr. Register) convinced me that I was underpaid then I would feel undervalued. That's what he's doing -making teachers believe they are underpaid!

The lack of parental participation(read"free" education)is the problem-if the parents got a bill at the beginning of the school year for their child's education that could be taken down to "free" by their child achieving A's and B's and calling when they don't need transportation -i.e illness,moved,or vacation-when they see their child needs more help in a certain subject, then I feel we would get more value for our tax dollars and alot more well educated children.
Where are our priorities ?
I'd also like to thank everyone who makes the time to comment on here-some times I get so focused on being angry at our politicians(read" sly just under the vote mark") I need to hear other folks thoughts to bring me back to earth!

By: cannoneer2 on 5/10/12 at 9:32

Where was Ben Cunningham when Metro was handing out wads of taxpayer cash to corporate interests???

By: budlight on 5/11/12 at 5:37

treehugger7 on 5/9/12 at 7:47
As a liberal idiot asshole, I am happy with the mayor. Tax increases are a fact of life, if you want to see successful communities. If you don't want successful communities and cities, you are the reactionary right wing idiot. Now that we have called each other names, what is your solution?!

Are you just plain nuts, Tree? The solution is to stop spending. The convention center was a major blow to our city. It was approved, saying that all those hotel taxes would fund it and then the rains and floods came knocking out 6 months to a year of that revenue. Well of course. Karl Dean could not predict the weather. But if he only listened to Dave Ramsey one time, he would hear the term "Murphy's Law" and Murphy is surely laughing his butt off right now at Karl Dean for thinking he is the supreme leader of Nashville.

Cut spending. Stop the runaway city council and mayor. They are taking taxpayers to the cleaners.

By: pswindle on 5/11/12 at 1:42

I bet the Tea party enjoys our fine roads and other things that the government supplies. Where in the hell do they think the money comes from? Are any of the Tea Party people enjoying their SS, Medicare, etc. If you want the world to stand still, cut taxes until the bone is showing and see what you get. I remember tnis Tea Party nut in Alabama protesting everything, and to find out he enjoys his SS and Medicare. It tkes money, my friend. Mitt always says, my friend. Now, we know he is a bully. What a loser.

By: pswindle on 5/11/12 at 1:44

Typing error: It takes money, my friend.

By: Ask01 on 5/11/12 at 8:24

Just a short though here, as I've had a long day and am ready for some sleep.

I realize, as I'm certain everyone does, taxes pay for SS, Medicare, Medicaid, my military pension, and all manner of other benefits. There is no argument. I gladly acknowledge the point.

In return, however, I believe everyone defending taxes can, and should, reciprocate by acknowledging more money would be available for these benefits if said money was not spent on un-necessary or nice to have items.

Better yet, as I have harped on incessantly recently, make sure all required items are covered before buying luxury items.

As another poster so aptly observed, a homeowner must address regular maintenance (say fix the roof) before building the new deck.

Hint to city leadership, especially Mayor Dean and Metro Council, the concept discussed here is financial responsibility. Please try this sometime as taxpayers would enjoy that trait being practiced with OUR money.

Thank everyone and Good Night.