Memphis City Council votes down proposed property tax increase

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Memphis City Council voted not to increase property taxes on Tuesday afternoon.

The hike would have been an increase to $3 from the current $2.71 per $100 of assessed value. Councilman Martavius Jones said it comes down to services and said better services come from taxes.

Before the vote, we asked Jones, who proposed the 29 cent hike, if he was confident it will pass. 

Jones said he didn’t know. 

“I hope that my colleagues have read the support for this based upon the emails that we’ve received from the community at large,” Jones said.

On Monday, a coalition of nonprofits and community activists gathered to show their support for the increase.

If the vote would’ve pass, the money would’ve went towards a raise for all city employees, MATA, and an affordable housing fund for Memphians ages 16-24 who may not be in school or have employment opportunities.

“I hope that my colleagues recognize that taxes equal services. I want the public to know that in the last 20 years we’ve had six tax decreases,” Jones said.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said he is against the hike and said it’s not the right time.

“We’ve had thousands of people lose their jobs. Hundreds of people lose their businesses. People are struggling right now. There’s never really a good time to raise taxes but this is a really bad time to raise taxes,” Strickland said.

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