Shelby Co. property value drop could prompt tax hike - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Shelby Co. property value drop could prompt tax hike

(WMC-TV) - Shelby County property values are down, and that could mean a property tax hike is on the horizon.

Shelby County Property Tax Assessor Cheyenne Johnson is bracing for the drastic change in property tax reassessments this year.

"This is probably the first major decline for some municipalities here in Shelby County for a long time," she said.

The 4.63 percent drop in property values mean county government has that much less money to stay afloat.

County leaders painted a scenario in a budget retreat over the weekend.

They said if there's a five percent drop in property values, a tax increase of 36 cents for Memphians and 34 cents for county residents would fill the gap.

So for every $100 of assessed property, the tax rate would increase to $4.38.

"They're going to probably have to adjust their budget to make up for the lost revenue in taxes, but again, that's their responsibility and they're going to address it," said Johnson.

County administrators said they will look for cuts before a property tax increase, but have not indicated if they'd dip into reserves to keep the county afloat.

Even if you don't live in Shelby County, Johnson said you're likely facing a similar daunting dilemma.

"We're sharing the same problem the entire nation is going through and until we address some of our financial issues, we're going to just have to deal with it," she said.

Johnson said a small minority of Shelby County property owners will see a property value increase.

The Assessor's Office will start mailing out the 2013 reappraisals March 4.

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