Property Tax Increase Likely for Shelby County

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(Bartlett, TN) You shot down one tax, but another you have no control over may cost you  a lot of cash.

Homeowners in Shelby County already pay the highest property tax rate and it could be going up because a county sales tax went down in flames.

The Shelby county commission says they must raise around $30 million to pay for unified schools. 

They planned to pay for that with a county-wide half cent sales tax, but when that referendum was beat strongly last night county commissioners started looking at other options.

“The result of last night is this any money get for any purposes, education to be sure, will come from the property tax from everyone in Shelby county,” said Commission Chairman Mike Ritz.

Ritz says commissioners could raise property taxes as much as 5%.

”It is a huge burden on the residents, commercial businesses no matter what city you’re in. The property taxes are really high and I think frankly because we don’t have the sales tax they’re going to go higher,” said Ritz.

Commissioner Chris Thomas says it`s too early to make assumptions about a property tax hike because the unified school board hasn’t even approved a budget.

“They basically wanted to give the school board $30 million before they even had a budget to say here’s some money without making any cuts,” said Thomas.

The big question a lot of you are wondering how we have some of the highest taxes in the state and still have no money to pay for things like education.

 “They don’t really listen to the citizens and spend the money as wisely as they could. So we hope they would get that message,” said voter Dave Shreve.

Joy Morton agrees, “I think they need to cut down on their spending and manage the money better. I don’t think we have a management system here at all.”