Shelby County Property Tax Increase Passes First Hurdle

Shelby County Property Tax Increase Passes First Hurdle

Commissioners spent more than four hours Wednesday talking about the budget and the tax rate, and this is just the first reading.
MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Your taxes in Shelby County could be heading up again. The county commission approved spending $20 million on the Unified School System and sending taxpayers a bill with a six cent increase.

That would mean if you have house that costs $100,000, your property taxes would increase by $90. For a $150,000 home, your increase would be $135, and a $200,000 house would mean a $180 jump.

Commissioners spent more than four hours Wednesday talking about the budget and the tax rate, and this is just the first reading.

Commissioner Terry Roland argued against one million dollars going to Juvenile Court. He doesn't like how these kids commit crimes, the citizens are victims, then the citizens have to pay for the suspect's housing.

"Now the citizen is being forced to provide defense for a criminal that did the crime. I just can't see it," he said.

Council members listened, thanked Roland, and voted to give Juvenile Court the money.

Then Commissioner Wyatt Bunker decided to step in. Sounding a lot like Ronald Reagan in the 1980's, Bunker said any tax increase will hurt Shelby County.

"You decrease your taxes, you leave more money in the pockets of the taxpayer. They'll purchase homes, expand their existing businesses, they'll create new businesses," he said.

It was an emotional speech that didn't have much of an effect on anybody other than the four commissioners who say they won't raise taxes for any reason.

Still, the six cent tax increase was approved. So was the plan to take that six cents and spend it on Shelby County Schools.

But it's just the beginning of the process, and already Mayor Mark Luttrell's people are being told to find more places to cut.

If this is any indication of how things are going to go, it won't be easy.

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