(Cordova, TN) Shelby County cannot run without a tax rate, and right now the county mayor and commissioner are scrambling to set one.
With tax notices going out in less than a month, no one knows what will be on that bill after the commission voted down a .36 cent tax hike.
Mayor Mark Luttrell asked for that tax hike, and now that he’s not getting it he’s been meeting with his administration to come up with a plan.
One thing is for sure - the majority of commissioners say people have been taxed enough and whatever money the mayor gets needs to come from budget cuts.
Mindy Campbell is selling her home in Cordova.
She’s taking a major hit because of loss in property value to move, but she says it’s worth it to get out of Shelby County.
“All they do is keep increasing our taxes, and what do we get out of those taxes?” said Campbell.
The property taxes on Campbell’s piece of land has gone up 843 percent since 1992.
This is a huge concern for her, especially while selling her house.
“I’m concerned about who’s not going to come into the city. They’re going to hear about us, all the crime, the taxes, all the bad things about Memphis instead of the good things that used to be about Memphis,” said Campbell.
Commissioner Heidi Shafer is fighting against any tax increase, saying Campbell’s property isn’t the only one that’s seen a major creep up in property taxes over the past 30 years.
“It’s been the same song over and over again and we’re not getting anywhere with it. It’s time to do something different,” said Shafer.
Comparable $100,000 homes like Campbell’s all around Shelby County have seen an increase.
Since 1992 a $94,396 home on Vance has increased 62 percent, a $99,900 house on Dothan up 52.9 percent, and a $98,500 home in Millington up 100.74 percent.
Commissioner Walter Bailey says he wants to see taxes raised to fund schools, and it’s not a lot to ask for a few more bucks a month to pay for it.
“I guess I’m scratching my head trying to figure out where all the panic is when we’re talking about $9 a month. Why would people want to pack up and leave Shelby County,” said Bailey.
But as Shelby County has the highest property taxes in the state and is adjusting to population losses, Shafer says property owners are tax fatigued.
“$9 a month every year since 1972 adds up to a whole lot more money for the tax payer,” said Shafer.
Commissioners are expected to hold a special budget meeting to come up with options.