Memphis voters will decide on potential sales tax increase

Memphis voters will decide on potential sales tax increase

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Voters will have the final say about whether to raise taxes in the city of Memphis.

The Memphis City Council voted to put a .5 percent sales tax hike on the November ballot. Whether that will happen is now up to voters.

Myron Lowery is one person who hopes taxes will go up.

"The cost of living never remains the same. We've got to pay our city employees, we've got to make sure our buildings are taken care of," said Lowery.

If Memphis voters approve the sales tax increase, it would raise the sale tax in Memphis from 9.25 percent to 9.75 percent on every purchase inside the city limits. It would be an extra 50 cents on every $100 spent in the city, which would generate $47 million per year.

"In a perfect world I would love to see cuts in government," said Memphis City Councilman Reid Hedgepeth.

Councilman Hedgepeth says there's a $25 million hole in the budget and there are three options:

  • Raise the sales tax
  • Raise property taxes
  • Cut spending

Hedgepeth says getting spending cuts to pass is unlikely.

"If there were a perfect answer we'd do it and be done with it but out of the sales tax, at least it captures everybody coming into the city spending money and not just property owners," he said.

In addition to the sale tax issue on the ballot, Memphis voters could also decide to raise the gas tax in Memphis. A final reading on that is expected in two weeks.

Click here to find information about early voting and where to go.

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