Shelby County budget surplus could mean property tax cut

SHELBY COUNTY, Tenn. - - Next time you pay your property taxes, you might be looking at a lower bill. Shelby County Commissioner Terry Roland expects a 10- to 11-cent cut per $100 valuation.

"It would be significant," Roland says.

It would be for Robbie Gaia. He says he'd save more than $100.

"Put more money back in your pocket. You're able to put it back in the economy. (That) is always a plus in my opinion," Gaia says.

The potential cut is driven by a projected budget surplus of $18 million to $25 million. It's extra money in property tax revenue the county didn't expect this year. It's largely because of fewer appraisal appeals.

"We can't compete with these counties around us. So, the lower we go down on property taxes the easier it's going to be to maintain and keep population up and keep people in Shelby County," Roland says, "Because when people leave, the businesses follow the tail lights."

But lowering the property tax rate is just one option on the table because there are a number of other ways the county commission could potentially use that extra money.

That's according to commissioner Van Turner, who wants to look at all possibilities.

"If we can support any efforts to reduce crime we certainly want to look at those. Pre-k and education, that remains an issue," Turner says.

It's a good problem to have. The commission has several options. We should know by May where they decide to spread the wealth.

If this tax cut happens, it will be the second year in a row that the property tax rate goes down.