Memphis Residents Discuss Sales Tax Vote
(Memphis) – Minutes after hearing there will be a vote over a sales tax increase on the November ballot, a public discussion already began.
“I would rather do a sales tax increase than a property tax that way its spread out more evenly,” Memphis resident, Charles Land, said.
“A sales tax is a remedial tax. its regressive on poor low-income families,” Memphis resident, Kenya Bradshaw, said.
City Councilman Shea Flinn says raising the sales tax is the best answer to raise money. He says be increasing the tax from 9.25% to 9.75? the City of Memphis could bring in $47 million a year.
“You can offer a property tax decrease with some percentage of that. You can work with pay scale with some of our employees which is below a lot of markets,” Flinn said.
He says Memphis has three options when it comes to dealing with a budget crunch; Raise the sales tax, raise your property taxes, or cut services like fire and police.
But Councilman Kemp Conrad says there’s another way.
“We need to focus on the expense problem of the equation. It doesn’t mean cutting more services it does mean operating more efficiently,” Conrad said.
But Councilman Flinn notes that the sales tax increase is the only option that puts the decision in the voter’s hands. Voters we spoke with say when it comes to raising taxes, they want the final say.
“If there is going to be a tax we absolutely should vote for it,” Land said.