Lakeland asking for donations, not taxes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Lakeland asking for donations, not taxes

Lakeland is the only city in all of Shelby County that has no property tax and they want to keep it that way. So, instead of levying a tax, the city is asking for donations. Lakeland is the only city in all of Shelby County that has no property tax and they want to keep it that way. So, instead of levying a tax, the city is asking for donations.

(WMC-TV) - One Mid-South community is taking unique measures to keep property taxes off their books.

Lakeland is the only city in all of Shelby County that has no property tax and they want to keep it that way. So, instead of levying a tax, the city is asking for donations.

For 34 years, the City of Lakeland has not asked for property tax from its homeowners.

"The city was originally founded on no services, no taxes," said Mayor Scott Carmichael.

But Lakeland lost nearly $400,000 in annual sales taxes when the Kroger store left its location on U.S. 64 and moved down the street to Memphis.

But despite the lost revenue, the mayor said residents shouldn't expect a property tax anytime soon.

"Because we have no property taxes in Lakeland, if we need to do things we can't just raise taxes like everybody else just because we want to," Carmichael said. "We have to live within our budget just like any other family would."

Carmichael said city leaders are working overtime to maintain city services without imposing a property tax on homeowners.

"If they want a special project, why not ask them? All they could do is say, 'No,'" he said.

In an unprecedented move, the Lakeland Board of Commissioners sent a letter to citizens asking for contributions to the Lakeland Supplementary Revenue Program. The money will support a range of projects ranging from emergency management to city beautification.

"All this means is if we don't get enough money, things will be delayed," the mayor said. "We won't get them done as soon as we'd like them to, but they will get taken care of eventually."

Carmichael said the plan is about giving to a city that is not trying to take anything away.

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