Mayor Wharton pushes for privilege tax - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Jason Miles

Mayor Wharton pushes for privilege tax

Mayor Wharton got a lot of attention Monday by talking consolidation. He believes it is an idea who's time has come. But the bulk of his speech focused on possible new tax. One that, if passed, most working people in Shelby County would pay.

It's called a privilege tax, or occupational privilege tax. It would mean eight more dollars out of your paycheck per month if you make more than $28,000 dollars a year.

Wharton said it would be less burdensome on senior citizens who suffer when property taxes are increased. But he admits, it is not a long-term fix.

"It is only a band-aid, providing some immediate relief to our wounds but not a cure to our systematic illness," Wharton said.

Wharton said a privilege tax could fill the expected $14 million dollar shortfall in next year's budget.

He added that any new tax would need a thumbs up from the state legislature and would face significant opposition here at home.

Wharton called the privilege tax a short term solution. He believes consolidation, on the other hand, could be a permanent fix.

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