Budget vote means property tax hike is coming - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Budget vote means property tax hike is coming

(WMC-TV) - After nine hours of crossfire, the Memphis City Council voted on a budget that will increase property taxes for homeowners but reverse a city employee pay cut.

With pressure from the state comptroller for fiscal discipline, the council was up against cuts or a tax hike. Memphis council members disagree on the impact of the new city budget.

"A very small percent of it goes to the public. It's all going to employees and to city hall," said Memphis City Councilman Shea Flinn.

"We can cut, and we will cut, but we also have to invest in Memphis," said Councilman Harold Collins.

The vote means the property tax rate will increase from $3.11 to $3.40. A $100,000 homeowner will pay an extra $72.50 per year.

Flinn says the components of this budget cannot be sustained without another tax hike next year.

"They've cut it a little too close on the math and I don't think it'll work out," he said. "So, I think next year, they'll be coming for a further tax increase."

Collins says employees deserved to have their 4.6 percent pay cut restored. Additional code enforcement officers will be hired and libraries and community centers will have increased service hours for children.

"Now that summer is here, many of them don't have the funds to go to summer camp," said Collins. "So, the community centers provide an opportunity for the children to be in a structured environment and not in harm's way."

The changes will go into effect July 1.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.
Powered by Frankly