Ad: “Blank Check”
Candidate: Alice Rolli
Transcript: “Do you trust our city government enough to hand them a blank check? I don’t. So why am I the only candidate running for mayor to promise not to raise your property taxes? Everyone talks about affordable housing, but the first step in affordable housing is to stop raising property taxes [NewsChannel 5 headline: “Metro Council passes budget with historic property tax hike.”] because if property taxes go up, your rent goes up. [NewsChannel 5 story: “property taxes will go up by 34% in Metro Nashville.”] You get pushed out of town, and then you’re not here in four years to hold whoever you elect accountable. [Newspaper headline – “‘A lot of fear out there’ as eviction crisis looms.”] A vote for Alice Rolli is a vote for accountability.”
Analysis: In April, Rolli pledged not to raise taxes if elected. Now, months later, and shortly after an endorsement by the Americans for Tax Reform, Rolli rolls out an ad that connects the pledge against raising property taxes with the affordable housing crisis in Nashville. Displaying an article showing the 2020 property tax increase while connecting increased property taxes to an increase in rent and being pushed out of town creates a sense of urgency against rising property taxes. But housing prices were on the rise years before John Cooper’s 34 percent property tax increase. There is little evidence to suggest, also, that holding the line on property taxes would in any way drop rents or increase affordability and Rolli is not actually pledging to reduce property taxes. Rent reductions are generally associated with changes in either supply (more housing is built) or demand (fewer people seeking housing). In April, Rolli told the Banner in a Q&A that she believes Cooper “had to make the tax increase decision that he did. But I believe that later he could have reduced spending.” In a recent mayoral forum, Rolli identified staffing at Metro Parks as a potential area to reduce spending.
Where people can see it: Streaming, online.