City council members voice opposition to property tax hike - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

City council members voice opposition to property tax hike

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(WMC-TV) - If you live and own a home in Memphis, your taxes could jump up if Memphis Mayor A C Wharton gets his way.

He says property values have dropped and the city needs to raise taxes to make up the difference in the budget, but a raise in property taxes means less money in your pocket.

"This is frankly one of the most frustrating since I have been on the council," said Memphis City Councilman Kemp Conrad.

Memphis City Councilman Kemp Conrad is voicing his opposition to a massive property tax increase in Memphis Mayor's A C Wharton's budget.

"Raising taxes is not the answer. It's one of the reasons why people are leaving the city. It's making us less competitive from a business retention and recruitment standpoint," he said.

Last week, Wharton's budget proposal called for a 28 cent hike in the city tax rate, causing it to rise from $3.11 to $3.39 and according to the property assessor's website, if you own a $100,000 home in Memphis you would pay $70 more in property taxes each year.

"Every time you see these proposals it does surprise you," said Councilman Harold Collins.

It is surprising to Councilman Harold Collins because the Memphis City Council has not raised property taxes in seven years, since 2006.

In fact, since 2008, the city council has lowered the property tax rate every year except last year when city leaders kept it the same.

Now, Collins says a 14 cent tax rate increase would not change a homeowners tax bill because homes values are worth less.

"With that number, citizens don't see any increase on their property. What they see is they will pay the same amount of property taxes that they paid last year for this year," said Collins.

The battle over your tax dollars begins this week and will mostly likely continue into June before the Memphis City Council must agree on a budget.

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