Increase in property tax income may save some Shelby Co. jobs - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Increase in property tax income may save some Shelby Co. jobs

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

There may be some good news on the job front for some Shelby County employees.

Last month, Shelby County Mayor AC Wharton told county commissioners that 100 county jobs would have to be cut in order to balance the budget.

But county commissioner Steve Mulroy says the situation isn't as dire as some predicted.

"Some were predicting that we would actually have a net reduction in the value of property in Shelby County because of the bad market the last year," he said. "Fortunately, it looks like we're having an average of 10 percent increase."

Since the mayor's announcement, the Shelby County Tax Assessor's office has released its reappraisal numbers, and it appears the county's property tax income will increase.

But even with money coming in, the county budget is still in the red, and commissioner J.W. Gibson says some county jobs will likely be cut.

"The way it's looking right now, we are going to have to make some cuts, and it's a tough decision that's going to have to be made," he said.

Gibson says part of the challenge is dual governments. "At the end of the day, I think we need to be looking at all options to make county government, city government more efficient."
With a whopping 70 percent of the county budget dedicated to personnel, commissioners say they've gone to all lengths to avoid layoffs.
"Changing the work schedule, we looked at things like trying to combine some of the departments. We looked at things like carpooling to save dollars for those employees," said Gibson. "We tried a number of things to try to alleviate this whole notion of laying people off."

But other commissioners, like Wyatt Bunker, say the government is not here to employ people - it's here to serve citizens.

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