Answering the call for property tax reform
BY JUSTIN OWEN
Over the past year, Tennesseans from across the state have contacted Beacon more about one issue than any other. Despite being a generally low-tax state, many Tennesseans feel squeezed by their local governments. In 2019 alone, local governments proposed more than $200 million in property tax hikes. And as many of those who reached out to us said, what good is it if we have cut state taxes by more than half-a-billion dollars a year if local governments are going to take it right back out of our pockets?
Property taxes are among the most reviled of all. And when they are raised, it’s not as if the property owner has more cash to pay the extra bill. So, looking for help, Tennesseans began reaching out to us for answers. And we got to work.
What we found is that 46 states have some form of limitation on the growth of property taxes. In most cases, large increases must be approved by the voters themselves. So we designed a policy that would give cities and counties flexibility to keep up with inflation and the cost of providing services, while ensuring that voters had a say in significant tax increases.
By giving voters some skin in the game when it comes to local property tax increases, we can join the other 46 states in ensuring that property taxes don’t run amuck, while still preserving the ability of local governments to provide essential services. And we can take our “keep your hard-earned money” mantra that has made our state economy one of the strongest in the nation.
If you are among those who want to keep your hard-earned money and have a say in local property tax hikes, you should sign this petition and join our efforts.
Already signed? Tell five of your friends to do the same. Together, we can make the entire state of Tennessee a taxpayer-friendly place to live.