Families would feel pinch of property tax increase - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Nick Kenney

Families would feel pinch of property tax increase

At the age of 83, master gardener Margaret Killebrew has seen decades pass as she's lived in Memphis.

Killebrew has lived in her current Memphis home for over 23 years.  At first, she only paid county property taxes. Now she pays city property taxes, too.

Tuesday, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton announced he wants city property taxes by 17 percent.  It was an announcement Killebrew did not like.

"I'm against it," Killebrew said.

Against it, she said, because she cannot really afford it.

"I'm on a fixed income, and I just have to pay more when I pay taxes. I just have to take money out of savings because my monthly income won't pay the taxes," Killebrew said.

Experts say higher property taxes won't help the real estate market, either.

The words property tax do not sit well with real estate agent Forrest Taylor, either.   When it comes to real estate, Taylor said, Memphis is a buyer's market right now, but high property taxes can be a turn off.

"If you're looking at an increase in the property taxes, it's going to start throwing a lot of people out of the market that normally could afford a house," Taylor said.

And while a tax increase could keep new families from moving into her neighborhood, Margaret Killebrew said she is not going anywhere, regardless of the rising cost.

Click here to e-mail Nick Kenney.

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