MEMPHIS, Tenn —
You get what you pay for.
If you live in Memphis and pay some of the highest property taxes in the state, here’s what you get: no recycling program, no community centers and very limited library services.
It’s all because of COVID-19 and it probably won’t get any better until the pandemic passes.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland knows that times are tough not just for the city but for you too.
He says “I think our property taxes might be slightly lower in 2021, because people are struggling to pay their bills. Fees might be slightly lower. But sales taxes across the state are pretty good.”
They’re not that good in Memphis, however. “Often times,” the Mayor says, “downtown has been our hottest, most vibrant neighborhood. It’s now one of our least vibrant due to the pandemic.”
City services are already being cut, according to Mayor Strickland. “We are now having to put, for the time being, the recycling all in with our garbage. Our community centers have been closed. Our libraries are limited to a certain extent.”
“Statewide sales tax collections are going pretty good,” Strickland says. “People are spending money. One thing that has helped us is Tennessee is now fully collecting internet sales taxes. And that’s only a relatively recent thing.”
There are signs, those visible signs, that this pandemic is still causing serious health and financial issues.