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FERRIER FILES: Limiting Metro's ability to borrow money

One of the most influential grass roots law changers plans to try to limit Metro Nashville’s ability to borrow money.

Ben Cunningham of Tennessee Tax Revolt is getting ready for another petition drive.

In 2006, Cunningham was able to get more 15,000 signatures to put a property tax limit on Nashville's government. His effort succeeded with 77 percent in favor of the charter amendment.

Now Cunningham has a new amendment that does two things.

“We are putting a limit on the money metro can borrow,” Cunningham said. "It is like putting a limit on a credit card."

Additionally, it aims to cap borrowing and debt at 15 percent of assessed home value. The amendment takes on another behemoth.

Metro Nashville currently has 2.7 billion dollars in pension debt promised for employee benefits and saved zero percent for this huge liability.

Metro created a trust fund for the salary portion of pensions, but is not required to set up a pension for benefit debt.

“They can’t ignore it," Cunningham said. "It is irresponsible; 2.7 billion dollars and they haven’t begun saving for it."

It will take 24,000 signatures of people who voted in the November election to put the Nashville Debt Limit Charter Amendment on the ballot.

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