Shelby Co. Property Tax Increase Could Impact Renters

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(Memphis) Even if you don't own a home in Shelby County, if rent, you'll see the effects of a property tax increase to fund schools.

About half the people in Shelby County rent as opposed to owning a home.

“Right now it’s just unfortunate that that’s the only means of revenue we can sought out,” said Shelby County Commissioner Melvin Burgess.

Burgess says a sales tax increase would impact everyone in Shelby County including people passing through, but voters in the county shot that down last year and the city shot down a similar proposal this year.

“It’s easier when you have revenue set aside to help you with existing revenues, and until we find that solution and get more aggressive you’ve got to do what we’ve got to do to balance our budget,” said Burgess.

Regardless of who lives in the rental property the owner is still paying taxes on it even if the people inside aren’t.

Dalton Blakely owns rental properties in Shelby County and says renters will end up sharing the cost burden of the tax increase.

“Somebody’s got to pay for it. The owner of the rental property must pass the cost along to the renter. So everyone contributes,” said Blakely.

Dwayne Jones says he and his family rent instead of buy for reasons like property taxes and other financial responsibilities so they shouldn’t be punished by a rate increase.

“I don’t own a home so I feel like I shouldn’t pay a tax for a home when I don’t own one. But when I do get a home I think I should,” said Jones.

A 36 cent tax increase would raise $20 Million for schools.

The property tax increase must have two more readings and a vote before it’s official.