Tax Increase Could Impact Fragile Housing Market

(Memphis) The Shelby County Commission is moving forward with a plan to increase the property tax rate so they can give $20 Million extra to the merged school district.

If the county approves this plan, Shelby County property owners will pay a rate of $4.38 per $100 of value.

In Hamilton County where Chattanooga is located, it’s $3.15 cents.

In Knox County, it’s $2.69 and in Davidson County, where Nashville sits, the rate is $4.04.

Right now Shelby County is the same as Davidson at $4.04.

On top of Shelby County’s rate, people who live in Memphis could be hit even harder.

Mayor A C Wharton is proposing rising the property tax rate to $3.36 cents making it the highest city tax rate in the state.

Home builders in Shelby County say the move could really shake up the fragile housing market.

“Anything that increases the cost of home ownership will be a detriment to our industry which is still in a very fragile state,” said home builder Kim Grant Brown.

Grant Brown is a home builder and says the market is improving.

In Shelby Count it’s up almost 13% from last year. But she worries about the impact of a tax hike.

“Right now with 385 about to be finished it opens up a highway into Fayette County, and if we keep increasing property taxes then that’s a perfect route for people to leave the city and the county,” said Grant Brown.

He says people already get more bang for their buck in Fayette County where the property tax rate is only $1.74 compared to our proposed $4.38.

Some parents say what’s most important is the school district getting that $20 Million despite the increase.

“The kids are important. So whatever the kids need I think yeah,” said Helen.

It takes two more readings and a final vote by the commission to approve the increase.

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