Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grassroots Director Grant Henry Discusses Recent Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Ruling

Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee Grassroots Director Grant Henry Discusses Recent Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Ruling


Live from Music Row Tuesday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Grant Henry of Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee in the studio to weigh in on the recent decision made the court citing the unconstitutionality of the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, therefore, preventing it from proceeding to a vote by Davidson County citizens.

Leahy: We are joined now in studio by our good friend Grant Henry. He’s the grassroots director for Americans for Prosperity, Tennessee. Good morning, Grant.

Henry: Good morning, Sir. Good company in this room right now.

Leahy: Yeah, we’re having a good time. Also in studio with us, the mayor of the turbocharged bastion of freedom, Maury County, Andy Ogles. Good morning again, Andy.

Ogles: Good morning.

Leahy: Grant, what on earth happened with the judge’s decision to basically declare that the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, which received all of the signatures necessary to get on the ballot for the second time, why did the judge throw that out?

Why did the judge, in my view, deprive Davidson County residents who are supporting a common-sense conservative referendum get thrown out when a left-wing referendum that actually had fewer signatures than this that set up the left we hate the police, Community Oversight Board sail through without any judicial opposition?

Henry: First and foremost, this ruling silences the Nashville voters and taxpayers’ voices who continue to be saddled with harmful tax increases. Nashvillians are tired of Mayor Cooper and Metro’s spending addiction to put the city in jeopardy again and yet one more time.

And to answer your question directly, this ruling made by Chancellor Russell Perkins, I’m reading directly from News Channel Five here stated, “given the six proposed amendments are not severable, none of 4 Good Government’s proposed amendments to the Metropolitan Government’s Charter permitted to be considered for a referendum and Election Day of July 27.”

Now, you’ll know this clearly, but that idea means if one of them fails, they all fail. And in my personal opinion here, let me draw a hard line of delineation between myself and Americans for Prosperity.

In my personal opinion here, it seems quite clear Chancellor Perkins was desperately searching for justification in his analysis pertaining to this allegion severability situation.

Leahy: We’ve had Jim Roberts here in studio who said very specifically that these six proposals were, in fact, severable. In other words, you could reject one but still vote on the other.

Apparently, the judge disagreed with that. I’m not a lawyer. I don’t play one on the radio. You however are a graduate of a law school. What’s your view on the decision?

Henry: The decision felt like an overtly partisan interpretation of both previous case law and the petition language itself. Again, that’s as far as I’m concerned. But here’s what I think ended up happening is for several of those amendments, Chancellor Perkins realized and ruled that he didn’t have jurisdiction.

Now, what this meant was that he was then forced to say that at least if one of them doesn’t work, then all of them are going to have to fail, because otherwise, the other result would have been, hey, amendment one, we have to keep that off.

But the ones where I don’t have jurisdiction say amendment two, three, four, and five, those have to stay on. There was no way he was gonna be able to get away with that. And I put big air quotes here.

Leahy: By the way, our listeners. Yes, he did. I can verify he did put those air quotes on ‘to get away with.’

Henry: I personally believe the course decision only perpetuates the fiscal mismanage we’ve seen in places and an even greater need on the state legislature. Let’s shift here for just a second and greater need in the state legislature to strengthen our truth and taxation law that will insert some fiscal responsibility into this city’s finances and allow voters to reject corporate welfare and massive tax hikes.

We at Americans for Prosperity are going to continue to advocate for taxpayers throughout the state to work to bring structural reform that reigns in not just Nashville’s outrageous spending, but other cities across the state, too, with a super high debt ratio. But look, I will say there is some sliver of hope left. I’m sure Jim Roberts has talked about that.

Leahy: I’m glad we had at least a sliver of hope. What, pray tell, is that sliver lining?

Henry: The Election Commission decided last Friday that they will appeal this decision. I’ve been told there will be an expedited appeal going through here now in legalese I suppose that still means we’re going to have to wait about a month for any real ruling to come down.

But in the meantime, the Election Commission, I suppose in some way to show how confident they are about this decision going their way has actually set a provisional date out towards the end of September.

So Americans for Prosperity, we’re going to sit back, wait for a minute, see how this thing rolls out. But again, we are going to continually fight strongly for things like truth and taxation for when this comes up again on the ballot, possibly in September.

And we’re going to hit the ground running. But I’m saying I’ll pay attention to the state legislature next year. The truth and taxation certification process is going to be an incredible thing.

Leahy: It strikes me again not being an attorney. A couple of things strike me about this. Jim Roberts told us they were clearly severable. They wrote it so that it would be severable. This was an issue the previous time that they lost that the judge brought up.

I will say, however, to me it seemed like it was a mistake to put six elements on the ballot. I think there should have been just two, one being the rollback of the property taxes from the 34 percent increase and then the second that would have prohibited the City Council from introducing a smoke screen alternative that would confuse voters.

That would have been my view on the best way to go. But I guess, reading the opinion from what I saw, I think that the judge ruled that the rollback of the 34 percent property tax increase apparently was not constitutional. Is that right?

Henry: Right. And that’s why he kept citing the case called the City of Memphis versus…I don’t remember. But the idea behind that is as long as something is deemed facially and constitutional, that is on its face, you can tell it’s unconstitutional.

The judge, the Chancellor here can get in before the vote happens to deem something unconstitutional which is absurd.

Leahy: I have a vague recollection of that case City of Memphis. I think it is a misinterpretation of that ruling. And there’s a legal term where you take something that is sort of an aside comment, and you say that that was the ruling.

Henry: Dicta or something.

Leahy: Yeah, exactly. It’s dicta. In other words, if it’s a side comment and not the court of the ruling. And I think I’ll have to get our legal experts on that. I think that the City of Memphis precedent would fit in that category. Well, the appeals court will take it up I think at some point.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.








Attorney Jim Roberts on Pending Litigation with Metro Legal and Nashville Business Coaltion

Attorney Jim Roberts on Pending Litigation with Metro Legal and Nashville Business Coaltion


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Nashville attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to confidently assure listeners that despite metro government’s fear-mongering the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act will 100 percent be on the July 27 ballot for a vote.

Leahy: We are joined by our good friend Jim Roberts, going to get an update on the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act. Good morning, Jim.

Roberts: Good morning to you.

Leahy: How goes the litigation from Metro Legal and the very Nashville Business Coalition? Where does that stand now?

Roberts: Those folks have used a lot of your tax dollars trying to keep the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act from being on the July 27 ballot, but we are still on for the election that day.

The court has not ruled and suggested that it would rule today. So we’re all watching the court filing system with anticipation. Truthfully, only a dishonest opinion would keep this off the ballot.

The Davidson County Election Commission has made the decision to let the people vote on it as they should have and accept the vote on July 27, and only just the dishonesty of the Metropolitan Government is the only thing standing in the way. And they don’t have a very good argument.

Carmichael: Who is the attorney that’s arguing in favor of the referendum?

Roberts: That’s Jim Blumstein and the folks of the vote comments that are supporting his team. The Election Commission is on our side this time. They understand what we did, how we did it exactly as recorded rules, and they’re defending their decision, as they should.

Carmichael: One of our listeners sent me a text and the name of the listener will not be revealed, but this is what the listener says. I think you’ll get a kick out of it Jim. I am one of the few nerds who watched the Metro Council meetings.

If anyone has watched those meetings at all since the passage of the 34 percent tax increase, you’d realize they’re spending money as if there’s no tomorrow and throwing it out the window.

They even talk about how much money they have and their huge budget. The more money a government agency has or government entity has, the worse it becomes in serving the people.

That’s a Crom axiom. (Roberts chuckles) If we want good government in Nashville or the best government we can get under the circumstances, the amount of money they get needs to be constrained to a four to five percent increase a year.

Which is at this point the natural increase. And it may even, given all the teardowns and all the building that’s going on, it may actually be in the five to the six percent range. I don’t really know what it would be in the absence of the tax increase.

But I’m very happy to hear Jim that you are optimistic that the court will rule in our favor because all of the law is on our side. And then the trick is going to be because the forces that want Metro to have more money, they’ll spend probably over a million dollars to convince people to vote no.

If they vote yes, they constrain the government and give us a better government and force the mayor and the City Council to make some decisions that they should make. But they have no constraints to make them make these decisions.

And they need to be forced to make some tough decisions. And the only way to do it is for the voters to step in. I don’t know if you heard this, but Cooper actually said that the problems for the state of California had to do with the fact that their voters out there get to do things by referendum. Did you hear him say that?

Roberts: (Laughs) I did hear him say that. And the problem with California is the politicians won’t listen to the people even when they vote by referendum.

Carmichael: That’s exactly right. There’s a sense of desperation because I think that the mayor knows that the voters of Davidson County don’t want a 34 percent tax increase and will vote yes on the referendum.

Roberts: That’s right.

Carmichael: But then they’re going to spend a lot of money trying to convince the citizens of Davidson County that a 34 percent tax increase is necessary.

Roberts: Let me take one issue, though. I don’t think they’re going to spend any money trying to convince people that it’s a bad idea. What they’re going to do is try to scare people.

If you look at the advertisements from the pro-tax folks, it’s all scary, fear, police, and firefighters are going to be on the streets, and old people are going to die. There is no intellectual argument. It’s just dishonest fear-mongering.

Carmichael: That’s a very good point. And by the way, that’s exactly what Governor McWherter did when he was trying to pass the state income tax. He said things are so terrible at the state that will have to stop the school buses on April 1.

Don Sundquist, when he was trying to pass the state income tax, all of the media claimed that in the absence of a state income tax, that the state bond rating would fall to a junk rating or interest rate rates would skyrocket and our state would completely disintegrate.

And, of course, the income tax did not pass. And Tennessee has one of the highest bond ratings of any state in the country. So all of the fear-mongering, all of the things that these people say are, just as you say, are just merely fear-mongering.

And if the voters vote yes, then it’ll be up to Mayor Cooper to do his job and make the best decisions he can under some constraints that he doesn’t want to have put on him.

Roberts: That’s right. Last night I sat down and I looked up the budget from Metro from 10 years ago. I was trying to compare Memphis to Nashville. Our budget 10 years ago was about $1.5 billion.

Last night or two weeks ago, or when the Metro Council met, they voted a $2.6 billion budget. That means spending in Davison County has gone up to $100,000,000. a year for a decade.

What do you think is going to happen in the next 10 years? Another $100 million a year, at least. They’ve been on a spending spree that is well beyond our growth. Our population has increased.

Everybody knows that. But it’s gone up about since 2010. But our budget has more than doubled.

Carmichael: Wow!

Leahy: Jim, a question for you. What do you think the odds are that the people win? And what’s the probability that the decision will say the election is on for July 27th?

Roberts: I think it’s 100 percent. This is one of those situations that I just really believe in my heart that the court will know that it’s doing the wrong thing. If the court appeals it we will probably have to straighten it out if it does.

But I don’t see that. This is a good chancellor. And this is the chancellor that ruled in the FOP. He knows the law. He knows how it applies.

Carmichael: Let me say this, I think our judges are very good. I think our judiciary, the chancellors. This is not Chicago. This is not New Orleans.

We’ve got good judges here, and we should be thankful for that because our judges don’t get paid as much as they could make if they stayed in the private law business. And so I’m confident that the ruling, in this case, will be the right one, because I think we have good judges.

Leahy: When will we know something about this Jim? What time today?

Roberts: We’re waiting. The judge could have rolled the trial on the Metro, sued the voters originally. That trial was last week, and the order could have gone down any time. There was a second lawsuit by Metro against the Election Commission trying to get the Bob Mendes confusing ballot initiate on the ballot. As you know, the Election Commission chose not to put that very deceptive and confusing initiative on there.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.











American’s for Prosperity Tennessee Grassroots Director Grant Henry Goes a Door Knocking to Campaign for the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act

American’s for Prosperity Tennessee Grassroots Director Grant Henry Goes a Door Knocking to Campaign for the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act


Live from Music Row Thursday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed Grassroots Director of American’s for Prosperity-Tennessee Grant Henry to the studio to further describe the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, what it does, and the beginning’s of successful door knocking.

Leahy: In studio our good friend Grant Henry with Americans for Prosperity-Tennessee. As I’m driving in this morning, there was a different phenomenon in the sky. That phenomenon was light. It was light.

Almost every day when I drive in because I leave Thompson Station at about 4:25 or 4:30 in the morning depending on the day, it’s always pitch black. Except for today, it started out kind of pitch black.

But then I get on 65 and what’s that? It’s light! And suddenly I realize, oh, yeah, we are approaching the summer solstice. And there’s something about getting up as dawn and the light comes in.

It kind of sets your body rhythm right. So it’s a good day. It’s a good day with the sun coming up. Speaking of good days, Grant Henry, tell us about what’s going on with the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, which I guess now is scheduled for a vote, a referendum on July 27.

There’s litigation going on, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop it. Tell us what the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act does in Davidson County, and tell us what Americans for Prosperity is doing to support it.

Henry: The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act does about six different things. The one that we would like to focus on the most at Americans for Prosperity is the first amendment. The one that will take the property tax rate that was increased by 34 percent over the last year.

We could roll that back to 2019 rates and set a cap at no more than a three percent increase per year without a voter referendum. Obviously, it makes it a little bit easier.

Leahy: Subsequently. Subsequently, in other words. So what it does is if you vote yes on that referendum, and I think you’re right. Just to focus on that one key thing, which is the rollback of property taxes.

What that means is to roll back the property taxes in the next session. And if the City Council wants to increase property taxes by more than three percent, they can’t do it without a referendum and approval of the people. Wow! That’s pretty good.

Henry: And it obviously does a couple of other things there that are important. But we are starting our grassroots campaign right now.

Leahy: Now, tell me about that. Tell me when does early voting begins because I’m looking at the clock. Tick tock, tick tock goes to clock in the calendar. Today is June 17.

Henry: That’s right.

Leahy: And when does early voting begin?

Henry: Early voting starts on July seventh and will go to July 22. And the vote itself election days on July 27.

Leahy: So early voting begins seven days plus 13. 20 days from today.

Henry: Yeah, that’s right. It’s right around the corner. And is the place that we’re directing everyone to go to find more information. Not just about the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act, but also about ways to get involved. has some information on the background of what happened in the last couple of years. The three-point six billion dollars worth of debt that the city of Nashville is in. The terrible spending problems and the inherent nature of Nashville alone that got us here.

It also has a site, a clickable link there on the calendar section to go and sign up for door knocking or phone banking and help get this word out. We just started doorknocking last night.

Leahy: You did? So set the stage for us. Were you there door-knocking?

Henry: Oh, yeah. Myself and six other folks.

Leahy: You’re kidding me?

Henry: A great family called the Smith family, and Daniel Adams was with Phil Smith, Jonah Smith, Tiffany, some great folks up there.

Leahy: Okay, so just are you, like, wearing a T-shirt? What are you wearing?

Henry: I’ll post pictures about this today.

Leahy: Why didn’t you bring your t-shirt in?

Henry: I have some in the car.

Leahy: During the break, you got to go down and get them. What does the T-shirt say?

Henry: The T-shirt is lime green and yellow, just like the door hangers that we’re putting on there. It’s got a big liberty banner on the back, the little AFP logo in the top left-hand corner. So you’ll see us marching around.

Leahy: Does it say vote yes or on the referendum to turn back. Does it say anything?

Henry: The shirts do not. the shirts just say liberty.

Leahy: Just liberty.

Henry: That’s right.

Leahy: If you see somebody in a lime green and yellow T-shirt, open up the door because they have an important message for you. What time did you start? Because, you know, I’m a big fan of door-to-door canvassing because we did the Beat Lamar program back in 2013-2014.

Didn’t beat him, but got pretty close. Real close. So tell us, when did you start? What neighborhood did you go to? How did people react?

Henry: We had just a quick doorknocking session last night just to get it rolling off the ground just to get some people acclimated to door knocking that hadn’t done it before. We started right around 6:30 p.m. and went to about eight or 8:30 p.m. or so.

We had a fantastic reaction in the Hermitage area. And that’s what we’ll be knocking this weekend as well on Friday.

Leahy: Hermitage?

Henry: That’s right. All-day Friday and all day Saturday. If you go to, you can sign up to come to meet us out there.

Leahy: Now, when you approach a door, is it, one person or two people?

Henry: We need to go in pairs.

Leahy: Smart. This is somebody who knows what he’s doing. You always go in pairs.

Henry: Just for safety reasons and double-checking.

Leahy: So here you go. Knock, knock, knock. Who did you knock? Who’s part of your team? You are a two-person team.

Henry: Last night, we were pairing off male-female, if we could. It just tends to work better at the doors and especially in that area. But obviously, go up to door, let them know you’re with Americans for Prosperity.

Leahy: So knock, knock, knock, knock, knock, knock. Describe one of your memorable door knock interactions.

Henry: Last time we knocked in, this guy’s door came to the door. I gave him a quick spiel and that I’m Grant Henry from Americans for Prosperity here to talk to you about the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.

And are you supportive of Mayor Cooper’s exorbitant 34 percent property tax increase over the last year? And he said, no! Absolutely not! He signed that petition. He’s like, honey, come here! (Laughter)

We talked for 10-15 minutes at this guy’s door. He’s supportive. He’s signing on. He knows about the vote. We mark him down in our little I-360. And we say hey, he’s voting for it.

Leahy: Grassroots activism at its best.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.











Crom Carmichael Compares Mayor John Cooper and Former Governor Don Sundquist on Tax Reform Discussions

Crom Carmichael Compares Mayor John Cooper and Former Governor Don Sundquist on Tax Reform Discussions


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed the original all-star panelist Crom Carmichael to the studio to compare the propaganda of former Governor Don Sundquist to that of Mayor Cooper’s effort to falsely claim disaster if the Nashville tax referendum succeeds.

Leahy: We are joined now as we almost always are, at this time of the program, every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday by the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael. Crom, good morning.

Carmichael: Good morning, Michael.

Leahy: Well, just for our listeners and just to remind them of why we call you the original All-Star panelist, you’ve been on the radio here in Nashville since the 1980s.

Carmichael: ’84.

Leahy: 1984, you were part of the original panel on Teddy Bart’s Round Table.

Carmichael: Well, Teddy had a show for years before he formed a panel. So I was one of the originals on his panel once he decided to have it.

Leahy: Obviously the original All-Star panelist. And I never met you until I moved to Nashville in 1991. I didn’t know anything about what was going on politically. And I listened every morning to the Teddy Bart’s Round Table.

And there was one voice of reason and logic in what was largely a bunch of Liberals. I mean, nice people, but Liberals there. And I kept listening. And there was that voice of reason and logic was Crom Carmichael. That’s why you are the original All-Star panelist.

Carmichael: Thank you.

Leahy: And we continue that tradition, by the way, with this program, because just as when I moved here and by the way, I moved from guess where?

Leahy & Carmichael: California.

Leahy: 1991. And just as I moved here and learned about Nashville and Tennessee politics by listening to Teddy Bart’s Round Table with the original All-Star panelist, Crom Carmichael.

Now today we have a wave of California refugees coming to Nashville, and they are learning about Tennessee and Nashville politics by listening to The Tennessee Star Report with the original All-Star panelist.

Carmichael: And hopefully they’re getting some insights that will help them think about Tennessee in Nashville by having a historical perspective on some of the things, which is what I want to get into when you are ready this morning.

Leahy: Well, I am ready after we talk about some fun stuff, some fun stuff Crom. Now I was out last week.

Carmichael: Having a big time.

Leahy: Going down to the beach, enjoying the beach. I love the beach. By the way, I love the waves coming in.

Carmichael: Very good.

Leahy: It comes from growing up in upstate New York, wherein the summer you would go to the lake. We didn’t go to the ocean. Too far away.

Beautiful Lakes, many of them made by glaciers. Very pristine. Not like lakes in Tennessee, which are kind of like damned muddy rivers sometimes. But nonetheless, I’ve always loved the waves, be it of a lake or of a gulf or of an ocean.

So it was a lot of fun. Now Crom, while I was away, and I’m gonna do this myself. Of course, we are big fans of the Glock Store here in Nashville. Lenny Magill, another California refugee, got sick of California who wouldn’t, by the way, moved hid headquarters here to Nashville.

And we were there at the Grand opening. Nashville Glock Store. They have graciously given us a Tennessee Star Glock 17. I think it’s about ready for you to pick it up.

Carmichael: Just about ready.

Leahy: Just about ready.

Leahy: You’re getting one. I’m buying one. And you and I are going to do some training there.

Carmichael: I’ve already started.

Leahy: So you started. We did a little shooting episode. It turned into a contest. You were better than I was.

Carmichael: I didn’t even know it was a contest.

Leahy: It wasn’t until after I discovered how much better you were than me. So that made me competitive to try to get better than you. That’s how it became a contest.

Carmichael: I got it.

Leahy: It didn’t start out that way. But, you know, I’m a little competitive. And it just riles me when somebody’s that much better than me at anything. And there you were better than me as a shooter. So they’ve invited us to come and do some training. So you did some training independent of me.

Carmichael: I’ve had a one-hour session.

Leahy: So you’re even more ahead of me.

Carmichael: With a different trainer. Not Mario. This was John. And John is a former military former police officer. A great guy and really understands firearms. And I learned some additional techniques.

We practiced on the three targets again. That’s what’s really neat about if they do out there, it’s not just a tunnel type of target.

Leahy: You watch all the cop shows and the police procedural shows. And when they go to shoot, it’s a range. It’s a very narrow range. It’s only one target. This is a shoot 270 situation. 270 degrees.

Carmichael: It’s 180. You’re having to move left Center, right, left, center, right or right, he tells you, go right, go left-center. So you got to move quickly.

Leahy: Got to be paying attention. You got to be paying attention.

Carmichael: But you also have to learn how to focus, how to focus and aim quickly.

Leahy: I thought you were quite good when I observed you. Very focused.

Carmichael: Anyway, I had a wonderful time, great instructor, and look forward to additional training sessions.

Leahy: I’m even further behind.

Carmichael: My office, by the way, it’s about a mile down the road, so that makes it very convenient.

Leahy: Well, if you wanted to be, what do they call these run and shoot competitions you could run from your office and then go and shoot.

Carmichael: At my age, I would do a brisk walk.

Leahy: We’ll have to call that a new sport. Brisk walk and shoot. We will expand our competition. It will be Mike and Crom’s brisk walk and shoot.

Carmichael: Let’s talk about what the world is going on and for our friends from out of state. I want to give a little bit of perspective as to why the idea of Mayor Cooper’s gigantic tax increase is such a terrible idea. They don’t need the money. They need discipline.

Leahy: There’s a lot of revenue coming in, but a lot of bad expenses going out.

Carmichael: Let me just give it a real simple example. Let’s say you have a ranch house. The way the tax law works here in Tennessee, and Metro has to adhere to it on property taxes, and you’ve got 150 feet frontage on the street.

Somebody will come along and buy that ranch house if it’s in a nice area and they will now pay seven or $800,000 for the house, and it’ll be a teardown. But that person who is living in that house was probably paying about $4 to 5,000 in taxes.

And then because you can’t, Metro can’t raise taxes on somebody’s house if it’s unimproved. If they improve it, I think if they were to make an addition or something like this, where they have to get a city permit, a building permit to make an addition, then the city can increase the taxes that they charge for the house.

But you get a house and somebody buys it for $800,000. They tear it down, and then they build two houses and they sell those two houses for a million five each. Well, now you have $3 million on which to tax which generates at a one percent rate to keep math pretty simple.

And then Nashville, that is close enough for this discussion. The taxes on that parcel would go from $4,000 which is what it was before the $30,000.

Leahy: That’s a big increase.

Carmichael: It’s a big increase. And we’re seeing that all across the city. So Metro’s tax revenue is increasing dramatically without a tax rate increase. And what you have is a bunch of people who are very irresponsible. And I want to go back to when Governor McWherter was Governor.

Leahy: Ned McWherter. A Democrat and a good old boy from West Tennessee.

Carmichael: And he wanted to raise taxes. And this is when the Democrats were in charge, and he wanted an income tax.

Leahy: This would be in the ’80s.

Carmichael: And he claimed that things were so bad, so bad in Tennessee that if we didn’t raise the income tax, And I think there was irony in this by April first because I remember it was April Fool’s Day.

Leahy: April Fools Day. I remember saying April Fools Day? wouldn’t he pick a different day than that? But he said April first the buses would have to stop. The school buses would have to stop.

And so this reminds me of what Mayor Cooper and his buddies are running these ads claiming about all these terrible things that will have to happen if they don’t get this massive tax increase.

So you had Governor McWherter who then said the school buses will have to stop. And low and behold, the income tax didn’t pass, and the school buses, the school buses did stop. And then a person was run over and killed in a school parking lot.

The next day, the school buses started again, which showed that what McWhorter was saying at the time was just a big, fat lie. Now, Let’s fast forward. Don Sundquist. Don Sundquist was a Republican, and he joined with the Democrats because, at that time, the Democrats still controlled the House and the Senate.

And just like Cooper, Sundquist ran for reelection, saying that an income tax would pass in this date over his dead body. When he came to Teddy Bart show, and I asked him if he was going to accommodate. (Leahy laughs)

And he did exactly what you just did. He laughed out loud. And I said, governor, I’ve supported you twice, and you fooled me. Good for you, good for you. You’re nothing but a dishonest political hack. And I said this two feet away.

Leahy: You said that to the then Governor.

Carmichael: I’d say that to the mayor because Grant Henry read the quote of what Mayor Cooper said when he was running. And by the way, when Cooper was running, he was a Councilman at large, so he had access to the whole budget.

And so when he said, we can live very nicely if we just manage our fiscal affairs, he was right. And now he’s just like Don Sundquist.

Leahy: And we’ll continue this after the rest of the break. But here I do want to give you this quote of what he said when he was at his church. John Cooper said. “You are creating a path for anarchy in Nashville, Tennessee that will not end well, all because there’s this path of a super small weaponized, kind of Trump-oriented divisiveness that enters into Nashville.” That’s what he said.

Carmichael: What a disgusting thing to say when you’re that irresponsible but not surprising. Not surprising.

Leahy: It gets worse. We’ll talk about that when we get back.

Listen to the second hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.











Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Attorney Jim Roberts Is Still Winning as Metro Continues Disinformation Campaign

Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act Attorney Jim Roberts Is Still Winning as Metro Continues Disinformation Campaign


Live from Music Row Friday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. –  host Leahy welcomed Nashville attorney Jim Roberts to the newsmakers line to discusses the continued winning as the tax referendum nears a vote on July 27 ballot.

Leahy: Joining us now on our newsmaker line by attorney Jim Roberts, the man who put the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act on the ballot. I think it’s gonna stay there. Where are we in terms of the legal fight, Jim?

Roberts: Well, good morning to you! We are still winning. We are on the ballot for July 27 on all six amendments. The litigation launched this Monday, with Metro going full force, trying to suppress the vote right to vote on this.

But it doesn’t look like they’re having much success. It’s been a very legally technical type lawsuit. It’s not very interesting to watch, but essentially, Metro is doing everything they can to try to keep people from even being allowed to vote on this.

Leahy: But they’re not succeeding.

Roberts: Not so far. And it’s taking longer than I thought it was going to be. I stopped by on Wednesday. It’s a very technical lawsuit. There’s not a lot of witnesses. I don’t think there’s going to be any witnesses.

It’s really just an argument of lawyers. But Metro still can’t really articulate why the people shouldn’t be allowed to vote. They just don’t want them to.

Carmichael: Jim, I mean, with all due respect, Mayor Cooper has made it clear that the reason that he doesn’t want people to vote is that they’re stupid. He got up in a church and said that the reason in California, in a church of all places, that’s the irony is dripping on that in that regard to that.

But he got in front of a group of people in church and said that the people in California, the fact that they have a referendum is the reason their state is such a mess. And that if they just left it up to government employees and government officials, that California would be just a lovely place with very low taxes and a very light touch from the government.

And it’s all the people who are the problems. I wish Cooper would get up and tell the judge that the judge is too stupid to have a right to vote on this.

Roberts: Well, that’s right. And I’m sure Mayor Cooper got all that information from all those Californians who fled that state because of their high taxes and irresponsible government. Having a referendum is not the problem. The problem is a decade of overspending and irresponsibility.

Leahy: Exactly.

Roberts: That’s the problem.

Carmichael: And if we can get this referendum passed, it will force the powers to be to sit down and hopefully make the best decisions they can make, even though they don’t want to. But these people need to be forced to think and to manage.

They need that. Now then if they choose to fire the best people just to stick their fingers in the eye, then that’s an irresponsible act. But anyway, go ahead. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to interrupt you.

Roberts: No, you’re absolutely right. It’s really sort of sad to me that the only time that our police and firefighters come first and this Mayor lied, is when it’s time to start cutting the budget.

Leahy: (Laughs) That’s a great line, but true.

Roberts: And it’s really true. You’re right. What this will do is restrict the government, but force them to make hard choices. When the government has an unlimited checkbook, they don’t make a lot of hard decisions.

They just decide where to spend the money when it’s all free money. And this will force them to make some decisions. And I guess if Mayor Cooper wants to defund the police first, he’s got a right to do that.

I don’t think that’s what the people want. He has a staff of 30 people making over $100,000 a year. Maybe he could fire one or two of those people and get his own coffee.

Carmichael: The other thing he could do is he could sit down with the Board of Education and say, we have got to greatly cut back on the number of non-teachers that are in our government-run education system.

And he won’t do that. He made it clear when COVID hit that the one thing he would not do is lay off a government employee. Now here businesses are closing left and right, and revenues for the city are still strong and getting stronger, by the way.

And what the Mayor if this referendum passes, one of the things they’ll have to do is sit down with the Board of Education and say, all right, we’ve got thousands of bureaucrats in our school system. We need to cut that in half.

Roberts: Yeah, that’s exactly right.

Leahy: Jim, let me ask you this. There’s another lawsuit from a group called the Nashville Business Coalition, which looks like just a bunch of special interests. They are represented by a very able attorney, Jamie Hollins. Where is that lawsuit going?

Roberts: That lawsuit got put at the children’s table at Thanksgiving dinner. (Leahy laughs) That’s the only way to say it. That lawsuit is going to go to trial on July sixth. This will be over by then. He’ll be an afterthought.

The Nashville Business Coalition is really just a PAC. They are pro-business political candidates. They’re not representing voters. They’re not representing citizens. They’re absolutely representing businesses that want to elect pro-business candidates.

Carmichael: When you say want to elect pro business candidates, are you saying they want to elect candidates who help the businesses that do business with Metro?

Roberts: Absolutely.

Carmichael: So it’s not pro-business candidates. It’s pro-handout.

Leahy: Pro-handout.

Carmichael: Pro I’ve got my handout and I want to get money from the government.

Roberts: Absolutely. And the more you can they werThey supported a lot of the candidates to get them to do the amp to support the business community at the expensive neighborhoods.

And they really have no interest in the citizens of Davison County. If it was up to the Nashville Business Coalition, taxes would be even higher, and there’d be more subsidies to the downtown businesses.

Which is great. I love Nashville being a strong powerhouse, but we focus all of our time and energy on the downtown and not our neighborhoods. And that comes at a cost.

Leahy: Jim, a lot of these special interests who oppose the referendum to roll back the taxes have raised a lot of money. They’re already on the air with television ads painting false pictures of the sky is falling.

What’s your reaction to those ads? And are you going to have enough money to push back against those ads?

Roberts: We certainly need all the donations that we can get. All of our money is coming from Davidson County residents. We’re up against business coalitions that are subsidized by the city.

They’re using our tax dollars to run a campaign to raise our taxes. And that’s a reality. That just happens in governmental fights. All of our money is coming from citizens and groups that are interested in saving the parks and rolling back this tax.

We won’t go on television. That’s an extravagant expenditure, but we’ll spend money on radio and on social media. It’s really about informing people and educating people. One of the most disappointing things I see of the opposition’s campaign is how inherently dishonest it is.

They just can’t even tell the truth to help themselves. A lot of this, as you see, they’re talking about how the city’s going to lose revenue, but they won’t even admit that if we end lifetime benefits for council members and the mayor, we’ll save money.

It’ll be more money for schools. If we quit giving away our parks and public lands for free to out-of-state developers we’ll have more money for our schools and firefighters. They won’t even admit that I’m trying to save money for the city.

They just wanted to the doom and gloom hysteria. That’s all they have and that’s all they’re ever going to have.

Carmichael: That’s what McWherter did. That’s what Sundquist did. And history shows that they were both very, very wrong. McWherter didn’t try nearly as hard to be as wrong as Sundquist did and he can’t get a speaking engagement in front of his family because his policies were so bad.

A bigger government is not good for any community. And Nashville’s government is already too big. Are the government employee unions pitching into the special interest for this dark money?

Roberts: I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m sure they will. Anyone who’s beholden to the government is going to be against this. Let’s just be honest. It doesn’t surprise me at all because the teachers union thinks that they can get more money for teachers if there’s just a blank checkbook.

And in some ways they’re right. If we have unlimited spending then everyone gets more money. What bothers me the most about the unions is that they’re important. The police officers and the firefighters, the teachers are the most important things we do.

They should be the ones saying, hey, why don’t you cut these other wasteful things and focus on what’s important? I want them to focus on what’s important.

Leahy: Jim Cooper is and John Cooper are the Cooper tandem that wants to be the elite to tell everybody what to do.

Listen to the full third hour here:

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Tune in weekdays from 5:00 – 8:00 a.m. to the Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy on Talk Radio 98.3 FM WLAC 1510. Listen online at iHeart Radio.
Background Photo “Nashville City Hall” by Nicolas Henderson. CC BY 2.0.