The measure, approved this week, would raise rates by 34 percent.
“A combination of deep cuts, a painful but necessary property tax increase, and replenished fund balance will safely see our community through to the other side of the coronavirus and the most serious budget crisis in Nashville’s history,” Nashville Mayor John Cooper said in a statement.
On Twitter, Cooper said the tax hike would not have been considered had the city not been facing its “greatest financial challenge.”
The crisis budget approved tonight stabilizes Metro’s finances and maintains essential services. The large tax increase is something I would not have considered were we not facing Nashville’s greatest financial challenge. I thank @mendesbob and Council for their leadership.
— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) June 17, 2020
Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee has said that the state could face a shortfall of more than a billion dollars.
A separate City Council member said raising property taxes was a “tough decision.”
Two other states — Colorado and California — are eyeing property tax increases as lawmakers look to patch respective budget holes. However, both have to repeal measures that were previously put in place to limit sky-high tax rates, which is underway in each state.
Nashville, a city that relies on tourism as a significant source of revenue, has been hit hard as stay-at-home prevention measures have kept businesses closed, and people from visiting. Nearly 16 million people visited the city in fiscal 2018, according to the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corp. Due to event cancellations alone, the city was estimated to lose about $156 million in direct spending, a local news outlet reported.