Southaven city leaders consider a property tax increase - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Southaven city leaders consider a property tax increase

With more people, Southaven leaders know more crime, deteriorating streets, and other problems will be part of the growing pains. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5) With more people, Southaven leaders know more crime, deteriorating streets, and other problems will be part of the growing pains. (Photo Source: WMC Action News 5)

(WMC)- Southaven city leaders are considering a property tax increase, and leaders say it may be necessary to keep residents safe.

With more people, Southaven leaders know more crime, deteriorating streets, and other problems will be part of the growing pains.

"The police force here does a tremendous job, especially protecting us from crime trying to move across that state line," resident Dorris Hodges said.

Southaven leaders want to add four police officers, two fireman, and three code enforcement officers, an option that may result in property taxes paying for it.

"We don't want to have to rock along and create a bigger problem down the road. We've seen that with some of our neighboring cities unfortunately. Sometimes you can make it right for 2015 and cause a big problem down the road so we're trying to prevent that," Mayor Darren Musselwhite said.

Residents have long complained about flooding problems and worn down city streets. Musselwhite is trying to fix it as long as he can find the money in the budget.

"The roads are terrible so that needs to be done, and like I said, in my opinion you can't have enough policemen," resident Earl Earley said.

Most people say they'd shell out more money if it means improving financial flexibility for the long haul. In the budget workshop, leaders discussed a scenario that could raise property taxes about $50 to $60 dollars per year for a $140,000 home, which is the average for Southaven.

"I would be willing to pay the extra $50 or $60," resident Larry Williams added.

The mayor and board are in their first term and are already having to consider the raise to make up for rising health care costs and a $10 million decrease in assessed property values citywide.

City leaders would have to hold a public hearing if they decide to propose raising taxes. Any vote would likely come in September.

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