Taxpayers should brace for property tax increase proposal - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Taxpayers should brace for property tax increase proposal

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(WMC-TV) - Prepare for Memphis Mayor A C Wharton to propose a massive property tax hike.  That is what Memphis City Council Budget Chairman Jim Strickland is predicting will happen tomorrow.

Strickland says he would rather see budget cuts before a property tax hike.

"I think we're going to hear from the mayor that he's proposing a fairly large property tax increase," said Strickland. "It's the last thing Memphis needs."

The mayor also wants to reverse part of his 4.6 percent employee pay cut.

"I'm not going to vote to raise taxes to give them a pay raise," said Strickland.

He says the referendum he recently proposed to raise the sales tax may never see the light of day because both the city and county mayors are talking property tax hikes.

"There's no way people will vote for a sales tax hike," says Strickland. "Even though it would lower the property tax rate."

Strickland says the city is facing two big challenges: The home value decline will cost more than $15 million and debt refinance costs another $12 million.

He says the golf courses that recently escaped closure are not out of the woods.  He anticipates no police cuts to keep the crime trend going down.

"The start of this calendar year, the police director fully reinstated Blue Crush and also reorganized the precincts and I think those two things have resulted in a decrease in crime," said Strickland.

Action News 5 will be there when the mayor presents his budget tomorrow.

In the end, the Memphis City Council has final say if there is a property tax hike.

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