Mayor Luttrell Calls for Higher Tax Increase to Balance Budget

Mayor Luttrell Calls for Higher Tax Increase to Balance Budget

Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell already said he needs to raise taxes by 30 cents just to generate the same amount of money they got last year. But under his new budget plan, he needs even more money.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Shelby County Mayor Mark Luttrell already said he needs to raise taxes by 30 cents just to generate the same amount of money they got last year. But under his new budget plan, he needs even more money.

People have run marathons in less time than it took for Shelby County Commissioners to deal with the new Luttrell budget plan. They talked for more than four hours Wednesday.

All of their chatter came after Mayor Luttrell said he needs six cents more in property taxes.

"I don't like to raise taxes," he said. "I've never been one who likes to raise taxes. But I also think government has certain responsibilities."

He says they've got to pay about one million dollars for Juvenile Court operations improvements, and for the county public defenders office.

Then there's the soon to be merged school system. Luttrell says raising taxes by six cents will mean Shelby County would be able to come up with $20 million for schools.

Commissioner Wyatt Bunker thinks the whole idea is foolish. "If it wasn't so serious to everybody's pocketbook, including mine, it would be a joke."

Nobody treated this as a joke. Mayor Luttrell said Shelby County government is facing perilous times.

Commissioner Steve Mulroy applauded the mayor for figuring out this plan. If this were Facebook, Mulroy would be "liking" the Luttrell page right about now.

"I like the idea of the general approach of what we're doing with the revenue of savings to try and create some money that can go towards the public schools."

The school board is scheduled to vote on their budget plans Thursday. The plan they're working on requires the county to come up with $35 million.

Mayor Luttrell says his plan will come up with $20 million; if they need any more; they'll have to find a way to get it.

If you live in Memphis, you could get hit hard this year with a property tax increase looming in the city and the county - and both of them could be big.


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