Homeowners react to Herenton's proposed tax hike - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown and Nick Kenney

Homeowners react to Herenton's proposed tax hike

In reaction to Mayor Herenton's budget proposal Tuesday, Memphis homeowners are calculating how much the proposed 17 percent property tax increase would cost them. Under the mayor's plan, the owner of a $150,000 home would pay more than $200 a year in taxes.

Some taxpayers are confused about Herenton's proposal, while others are distraught over such a large tax increase. Memphis already has the state's highest property taxes.

While most property owners don't want to see a tax hike, they don't want to see a cut in city services, either.

Herenton has proposed spending $1 million to purchase sites for two new regional libraries, while promising to close four libraries and five community centers because of decay, minimal use, or close proximity to another facility. Closing the nine facilities is expected to save $2 million.

"There are some things I don't want to see trimmed. It may be that to provide the services this city needs, we need that level of a tax increase," said homeowner Ellen Prewitt.

Herenton said that the tax increase is a necessary step if the city plans to offer a full set of government services. He added that his plan will lead to a fiscally healthier Memphis -- the 58 cent hike would raise $58 million for the city.

Budget hearings, open to the public, will begin at city hall on Monday and run through May 8th.

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