Members of a group who oppose the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act announced this week they have filed suit against the Davidson County Election Commission.

“Save Nashville Now” members announced the lawsuit against the Davidson County Election Commission in a newsletter to their supporters Tuesday.

Its members said in their newsletter that Election Commission members scheduled an election date for the referendum “without regard to taxpayer funds…and they did it in the same matter that a court had already said was illegal.”

“The courts said that 4 Good Government did not have a legal petition and that the Commission could not set an election in July. The Commission canceled the election and then appealed. When the Commission canceled the July 27 date, their case became moot. They are demanding that the courts reinstate an election that no longer exists,” members of “Save Nashville Now” said.

“The Commission set a date in September in violation of both state law and the Metro Charter. We believe that choosing this date is arbitrary, capricious, and illegal. From the beginning, 4 Good Government and all of the signatories to its petition have said that this referendum election had to happen in June. A September date is not lawful and further is not the goal of the people that signed the petition as stated by the petitioners in their first court filing.”

The Metro Charter, “Save Nashville Now” members said, requires that officials hold a referendum election on the date prescribed by petitioners. State law, they added, requires the Election Commission to set an election within no more than 90 days after being directed to hold one.

The Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act referendum aimed to rescind Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s controversial 34 to 37 percent tax increase, which Cooper argued was to stabilize the city’s finances. If enacted by voters, the measure would have dramatically altered the budget of the city — immediately slashing $40 million.

Chancellor Russell T. Perkins, a Nashville judge, struck down the provisions of a referendum on the city’s taxes that was scheduled for July 27. The ruling invalidates the referendum and cancels the special election that was to be held, which would have allowed voters to determine the fate of the dramatic tax hike.

Members of “Save Nashville Now” are reportedly well-stocked with cash and have more that 400 times as much money as the people who favor it. The people on the opposing side — residents who have pushed for the referendum — have a sum of cash that, by comparison, is paltry.

Members of the Tennessee Supreme Court announced Friday they will not involve themselves in legal action between the Davidson County Election Commission and the Metro Nashville Government over the Nashville Taxpayer Protection Act.

Members of the Davidson County Election Commission had requested that the Tennessee Supreme Court assume jurisdiction over its pending appeal.

– – –

Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to chrisbutlerjournalist@gmail.com.