Tea Party sympathizers rally against proposed tax increase

Friday, June 1, 2012 at 12:46am

A Tea Party-inspired group of some 200 watched as speakers took turns blasting Mayor Karl Dean’s proposed property tax increase Thursday, imploring them to pack next week’s Metro Council meeting to deliver a message.

“The people are rising up!” Nashville Tea Party founder Ben Cunningham told onlookers spread among tables at an anti-tax hike rally at Limelight in East Nashville. “We’re going to show up at this council meeting on Tuesday and tell the council in no uncertain terms, ‘No tax hike.’ ”

Organizers held the event days before Dean’s proposed 53-cent increase to Davidson County’s property tax rate heads before the council next Tuesday for a key second of three votes. On the same night, citizens have the chance for their say during a public hearing.

Though Dean’s tax increase is expected to pass, critics hope the scene Thursday is a sign of things to come at the Metro courthouse next week.

“At some point, we’ve got to say to government, ‘I’m sorry, you can’t have any more money out of my family budget for Davidson County,” Cunningham said. “You’ve got to operate under the money you’ve got!’ ”

Dean has said, “No mayor wants to stand up talking about raising taxes.” But after years of declining revenue and a stagnant budget, the mayor has made the case the government can trim no more. The alternative to a tax hike is “draconian” cuts in education and public safety, he has said.

“I refuse to cut services to the point where our city’s future is compromised,” Dean has said. “I refuse to be the mayor who turns back the clock on public safety and education. I choose to continue our forward momentum.”

But Ken Marrero, a tax-hike critic and Tea Party supporter, said it’s time for Dean to behave as a “statesmen,” not a “statist.” He took exception with several of Dean’s budget plans, including his proposal to raise the salaries of Metro employees by 4 percent.

“I’m sure they deserve it just like we all do,” Marrero said. “But in order to give them $15 a month in raises, he’s got to take $15 a month from you, sir.”

Council members in attendance Thursday were Karen Bennett, Robert Duvall, Charlie Tygard, as well as Republican state Rep. Jim Gotto.

Duvall, who helped organize the event, took the stage and reminisced on the council’s most notable victory over the mayor — when it thwarted his plans to redevelop the Tennessee State Fairgrounds.

“The last time I saw this kind of gathering, we were trying to save the fairgrounds,” Duvall said. “They called us, ‘The Red Army.’ I’m not sure what we’re going to call this group.”

19 Comments on this post:

By: spooky24 on 6/1/12 at 4:51

I believe they could find better ways to express themselves than a public display of dissent over something that has been a done deal from the start.
When the 'Red Army' got to Berlin they had never seen flush toilets before. They assumed they were machines for washing potatoes.
If the shoe fits.....


And these people wonder why conservatives won't give them any money.

By: TRHJR on 6/1/12 at 7:47

ms sp / i m a concervative i give money / you are right "commie" you socialist / 1 st ms sp take your hand out of my pocket ! next go get a real job , you just a scared little b its always the chieren or police , fireman , chipper service / we express ourselves very well / the red army is you and your kine . like i said go get a real job get off the govt. dole

By: sharko20 on 6/1/12 at 9:00

Mayor Dean like all good liberals wants to grow government and shrink the private sector. This is a libs idea of fairness. Government doesn't have anything it doesn't first take from someone. No amount of money can fix the problems with the public schools. They need a complete overhaul starting with competition, but libs don't like competition. They like to dictate. People like Dean eventually run cities into the ground. Look at NY. Bloomberg is an idiot.

By: greystone on 6/1/12 at 9:21


How does increasing a property tax to give a raise growing government or shrink the private sector? What has government taken over that was first a private entity? Schools were trashed with No Child Left Behind, thank you very much Bush. Competition doesn't fix everything - oil companies. Who like to dictate? "I'm the decider" Bush. NY is far from ran into the ground and Bloomberg is an Independent. Jeez to much Faux News makes the brain turn into mush.

By: pswindle on 6/1/12 at 10:21

The Tea Party, what can one say. Maybe, Palin, Good Grief!

By: JohnGalt on 6/1/12 at 11:13

Dean the dummkopf knew exactly what he was doing all along. He and the councildroids accepted the federal "grant" and knowingly failed to plan for the ongoing cost of the police officers intending to use the deficit as the cornerstone of their property tax increase. Couple that with the last minute submission of the budget and he's worked the system again.

By: zibianstein on 6/1/12 at 11:25

I'm against this tax increase but not a member of the Tea Party. So how accurate is this article? Why would you call all citizens that are against an illogical decision at this time in the economy 'tea party sympathizers'. Where did that come from? What a bunch of liberal whack jobs you have working for your paper.

By: Editor on 6/1/12 at 12:04

Calling opponents to a tax increase "Tea Party Sympathizers" seems to be an effort to minimize their voice in the eyes of liberals or other Tea Party haters. The supporters of the proposed tax hike are then safe to keep pushing the idea of the tax hike as just a standard method of raising money to help school kids and underpaid public employees.

The real issue is why the huge tax increase is needed, and even how it is being proposed.

I find it hard to support a cut in available funds for very Davidson county citizen so we can increase the pay for Davidson county public employees, some aren't even living in Davidson county. The mayor says this tax hike won't help pay for the Billion Dollar convention center, but he wouldn't need to raise taxes if he had instead spent that wasted money on public employee pay raises and school teacher salary increases.

By: joshmh0718 on 6/1/12 at 1:46

Part of the reason they are having to raise taxes is because the city took Federal money with the promise we would hire new police officers. In order to keep from having to pay that money back to the Fed is by keeping these officers employed.

Furthermore, if you look at your tax appraisal from the county, it has not been renewed since 2009 and that value is what our taxes are based on. I know personally my home value has dropped quite a bit since that last appraisal. So everyone in Davidson County is paying taxes based on old assessments, plus looking at a tax hike.

It sounds to me like Karl Dean is double dipping!

By: TRHJR on 6/1/12 at 1:50

Right on Editor .... agree with all most everything NO MONEY FOR OVER PAID TEACHERS Greystone no child lefy behind was your boy Ted Pass the Drink
Kenndy !!! get your facts straight .... and get a wipe oil cpmpanies make a whooppping .6 cents on the dollar ... what another leberial fool you are

By: lunatik96 on 6/1/12 at 3:32

Why is it when they want money they ALWAYS say schools will suffer? Because they know that is one thing most will agree to fund. They NEVER mentioning cutting legislator salaries or perks. They never mention streamlining other parts of government. It is always schools that are held up at gunpoint, and if that doesn't work, they threaten trash pickup.

Publish the budget on-line and then allow citizens to vote on what they are willing to fund. Then the will of the people will be served.

By: Shadow63 on 6/3/12 at 12:34

This isn't a "Tea Party" issue. It's a taxpayer issue.
The mayor has clearly tried to "Play" the voters in the county once again, and your councilmen are complicte in his scheme. Dean is enriching his cronys and feathering his own nest at the expense of honest homeowners, an obvious and blatant transfer of wealth.
The Fairground gambit is working out real good for him I see. His buddy the Governor is taking over the State Fair, and count on it, It will disappear along with the revenue to keep the fairgrounds solvent. And how about the New stadium for a bush league ball club that nobody goes to see, oh, and belongs to an out of state corporation. Dean is piling up debt like all the governments that are falling around us, and when it comes due, what them?
These guys are without shame, and think they are invulnerable. It's time to set them straight.

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By: MetalMan on 6/4/12 at 5:33

The liberals always use the scare tactic, "If we don't increase taxes, we'll have to cut public safety and education funding." I'm not a veterinarian, but I know bullshit when I see it.

By: WickedTribe on 6/4/12 at 7:31

I'm surprised this is even making news. The Tennessean had a big headline about email protests over the tax raise... and then the story said out of 300 emails Dean had received (keep in mind Davidson county's population is about 620,000), about "half" of them were opposed to the tax increase.

By: yucchhii on 6/4/12 at 1:49


By: Rasputin72 on 6/5/12 at 5:20

Karl DEan should be at the least forced to defend his tax rate of $4,53 against the tax rates of Williamson,Cheatham,Rutherford,Sumner and Wilson. This is the only way the average citizen will be able to know what Davidson .County spends its tax dollars for that the other counties do not.

Truth in Taxation~

By: Vuenbelvue on 6/5/12 at 7:02

Gary Shilling, CEO and Founder of the Shilling Index predicted on Bloomberg Report this morning house prices will fall 20% in 2012-2013. Does the city council have a model to adjust values if this happens?
*The S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices are the leading measures for the US residential housing market, tracking changes in the value of residential real estate both nationally as well as in 20 metropolitan regions.

By: FaceBook:Emmett... on 6/6/12 at 11:41

Yes, federal grants are like "teaser rates" on credit cards and are used as a backdoor means of raising local taxes in the name of "public safety". Dean's part of the game and always has been.