Shelby County fairness tax finds major support - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

Shelby County fairness tax finds major support

Dozens of residents from across Shelby County assembled at an East Memphis estate Thursday night to hear about a comprehesive overhaul of the county tax structure. The Shelby County fairness tax could change how we pay and generate taxes.

The plan claims to reduce taxes by 25 percent, and pay off 2 billion dollars of county debt.

"It doesn't matter about race, age,'s going to make the playing field level," said Shelby County employee Warren Cole.

It's a complicated formula, but it's gaining traction from all walks of life.

"We've checked the numbers, and I really do firmly believe that it is financially sound," said Dr. Richard Evans, an economics professor at the University of Memphis.

The Shelby County fairness tax would have a life span of ten years.

  • It would create a 3 percent payroll tax.
  • There would be no wheel tax, more than a 25 percent drop in property taxes, and a sales tax reduction of nearly 25 percent.
  • In 10 years, 2 billion dollars of county debt would be paid off.

Shelby County commissioner James Harvey is backing the plan.

"From CPAs to other economists, there is a show of support that says, based on the proposal of this payroll slash privilege tax, it is workable," said Harvey.

Petitions have begun and more county commissioners are getting behind the plan, but it could be some time before there are serious discussions about implementing the fairness/payroll tax plan.

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.

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