10% property tax increase? - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

10% property tax increase?

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Both the city and the county administrations are proposing a property tax increase of nearly 10%.  The mayors say the citizens won't be paying more out of pocket because of the decreased appraisals but not everyone agrees with that assertion.

Across the county residential property appraisals saw a median decline in values of 15%.  The median decline in Memphis is 18%.

That decline means a big loss in revenue for both city and county governments.  If the tax rate stays the way it is, the county stands to take in nearly 53 million dollars less than it did for last year's budget.  According to Mayor AC Wharton, the City of Memphis would take in nearly 30 million dollars less than last year.  Both Wharton and county mayor Mark Luttrell, when presenting their budget proposals, said there needs to be a "certification of the tax rolls."

This means the tax rate would rise up to the level where the governments take in the same revenue as the previous year.  It amounts to a tax hike.  The both mayors say the majority of citizens won't be paying more, because the hike just offsets the lower property value.

Councilman Shea Flinn says that's not a fair assessment for everyone.  "That's like talking to someone who was just the victim of a mugging and telling them crime is down.  Well crime is down in the city, but it's not down for that person and there's people whose appraisals went up.  We know the commercial sector had a 10% increase in valuation.  So for them it's a straight up tax hike."

The county appraisals are based on comps from the last two years.  The next reappraisal will be in 2017.

There are there parts of the county that will feel the tax increase more than others?  When we're talking about the proposed 10% tax increase for county residents, far suburban residents are more likely to feel it in their pocket books.

Here's the breakdown of median decrease of home values in different parts of the county:

  •             Memphis saw the biggest median decrease at 18%
  •             Collierville says the smallest median decrease at 6%


These are just median values, there's homes all across the city that even saw increases in home values. 

To take a look at your reappraisal and compare it to years past, click this link to the assessor's website:  http://www.assessor.shelby.tn.us/content.aspx

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