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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Nashville officials say that a local effort to roll back a contentious property tax increase would result in a $332 million deficit, warning that if voters approved the referendum it would be "a self-inflicted disaster."

The city went on the defensive on Monday, the same day the free-market group Americans for Prosperity announced it had secured enough verified signatures to place the ballot initiative on the December election.

"Nashvillians can now have their say on this harmful 34% property tax hike," said Tori Venable, the group's Tennessee director. "If the government can't restrain itself, we the people will act to restrain the government."

The ballot initiative would also limit the city's ability to increase any future property taxes without voter approval to 2% every year.

Nashville's city council approved the property tax increase earlier this year while responding to the to the economic downturn sparked by the coronavirus pandemic.

 

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