(WMC-TV) - After three hours of debate Monday, the property tax hike for Shelby County failed 7-5. That means the tax rate discussion goes back to the drawing board, and commissioners will have to come up with a new number.
An audience packed with taxpayers, no doubt, influenced commissioners. Concerned taxpayers on both sides of the tax increase debate packed into the Shelby County Commission chamber to share opinions.
Mayor Mark Luttrell proposed the commission approve a 36-cent tax increase from $4.02 for each $100 of assessed property value to $4.38.
Twenty-two taxpayers asked to speak for and against the tax hike. The arguments come down to funding schools versus cutting government spending.
"We support the tax increase because we feel the school board's done an amazing job making all the cuts they can make without it affecting the classroom. So we want our schools to be as fully funded as possible," said Katie Carr with Stand for Children.
Although, others, such as Shelby County resident Yvonne Burton, stand against the tax hike.
"I'm against the tax hike because we don't have a taxing problem, we have a spending problem. They're raising taxes in Collierville, Germantown. They already raised taxes in Memphis. So you're going to have a compound effect," said Burton.
The commissioners went going back and forth on the vote since about 3 p.m. Monday. Commissioners James Harvey and Justin Ford voted against it.