Shelby County Commission approves 2-year property reappraisals

Updated: Jun. 9, 2021 at 5:41 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - The Shelby County Commission approved a plan to move the county from a four-year property reappraisal cycle to a two-year cycle.

Supporters say two-year reappraisals will prevent big swings in property values like the sticker shock increases that many property owners experienced during this year’s reappraisals.

Opponents say there are too many unknowns with two-year reappraisals.

The COVID-19 pandemic hit many people in Shelby County hard, including homeowners.

“When the pandemic hit, my team was trying to come up with a scenario to how can we help homeowners,” said Shelby County Assessor Melvin Burgess.

The idea Burgess and his team came up with was switching the county from four-year property reappraisals to two-year reappraisals.

Burgess says it will help the county recognize market growth and lead to more accurate revenue projections. Additionally, he says property owners will not see the sticker shock that some experienced this year.

“I promise you, this is a good thing for property owners,” said Burgess. “I promise you, you will never see that drastic hit that you saw coming from a four-year reappraisal.”

Shelby County commissioners approved the plan by an 8-5 vote Monday.

The “no” votes came from Republicans like Commissioner Mark Billingsley.

“I do not think this proposal could come at a worst time as we just raised taxes and taxpayers just saw double-digit increases in their property values,” said Billingsley. “There are many appeals and homeowners may still be appealing their reappraisals when their second reappraisal comes due in two years.”

The Memphis Area Association of Realtors also came out against two-year reappraisals, saying there are too many unknowns.

“In our opinion, we just didn’t think that there had been enough research done for us to support it,” said Cassandra Bell-Warren, president of the Memphis Area Association of Realtors.

The state comptroller must approve the plan before it’s a done deal.

If that happens, Shelby County will become the first county in Tennessee to adopt two-year property reappraisals.

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