Memphis city councilman proposes property tax hike

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. —  A Memphis city councilmember is proposing a property tax increase.

The hike would be an increase to $3 from the current $2.71 per $100 of assessed value, 29 cents above the recertified rate.

Memphis City Councilman Martavius Jones explained why he believes his proposed property tax increase is needed.

“Taxes are the primary way that cities function. Services come from taxes,” Jones said.

Jones says the increase will generate about $40 million more along with city employee raises for all, not just police and fire.

“That $40 million would provide more funding for MATA to provide more frequency of the bus routes. This also creates money for the affordable housing trust fund that was created a couple years ago,” Jones said.

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It also generates money for an opportunity youth trust fund to help people ages 16 to 24 who may not be in school or have employment opportunities.

“If someone is renting and the home that they live in was approximately $60,000 the previous year, that increase will only be about $6 per month,” Jones said. “Someone who lives in $100,000 home we’re talking about $123 per year so it takes a little bit from everybody to make a difference for the greater good of Memphis.”

WREG asked Mayor Jim Strickland about the proposal on our Live at 9 show.

| Live At 9: Interview with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland

“Well there’s no doubt that we have struggled financially, and we are trying to provide the best possible services with the money we collect,” Strickland said.

But he says he’s against the idea, saying the city needs to increase the population for more taxpayers rather than taxes.

“It’s just not the right time to raise taxes. I said that when I presented my budget back in April to the council,” Strickland said.

He cited the economic fallout and hardships from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The council will vote on the proposal next week on June 15.

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