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Memphis city councilman proposes property tax increase

Updated: Jun. 10, 2021 at 11:47 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland’s budget proposal contains no new taxes, but City Councilman Martavius Jones says he wants to raise property taxes to improve city services.

Councilman Jones says the extra money generated, more than $40 million, would be used to give all city employees a three percent pay raise.

Strickland’s budget calls for raises for only police and fire employees. Jones says additional funds would be spent on MATA, fighting blight, and youth activities to keep kids off the street.

“People deserve better,” he told WMC Action News 5. “I think that people are ok paying for things as long as they’re seeing streets are cleaner, as long as they’re seeing more opportunities for children. And that’s what this is designed to do. Memphians deserve better services than we’re providing.”

Strickland would like to see the council set the tax rate at $2.71 per $100 of assessed value. Jones is proposing $3.

The owner of a $100,000 home would pay $677 dollars a year for Memphis city property taxes under Strickland’s plan. They’d pay $750, about $73 more, under Jones’ plan.

A $200,000 dollar home would cost $1,355 at the lower tax rate and $1,500 a year at the higher rate, a difference of $145. Property taxes on a $300,000 home under Strickland’s proposal would be $2,032. That same homeowner would pay $2,250 or $200 more with Jones’ plan.

Many homeowners are still reeling from sticker shock on their reappraisals this year. The current property tax rate is $3.19. State law requires the city council reset the tax rate after a reappraisal period. Here’s a good explainer on that here.

The council will vote on Jones’ proposal next Tuesday, June 15.

If you want to find out how much you’d pay in property taxes with the higher appraised value on your home, divide the reappraisal figure by 4, then multiply by $2.71 to see the Strickland rate and multiply it by $3.00 to see what you’d pay under Jones’ proposal.

Example:  Right now, using the current $3.19 rate, the owner of a $300,000 home pays $2,392 in city property taxes each year.

Let’s say their reappraisal came in at $340,000.  The homeowner would pay $2,303 in yearly property taxes if Strickland’s $2.71 tax rate is approved, which would actually result in a savings of $89 a year.

That same homeowner would pay $2,550 if Jones’ $3.00 tax rate is approved, which would mean an increase of $158 a year in their city property taxes, which works out to $13 more a month.

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