MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris announced a proposed county budget Wednesday with a 5-cent decrease in the property tax rate.

The $1.6 billion total budget for 2023 would reduce Shelby County’s property tax rate to $3.399 while offering property tax relief for veterans and seniors, and giving county employees a 1% raise with a minimum wage of $15.44 an hour, the mayor told county commissioners.

Harris told commissioners the budget proposes $2.3 million in additional funding for transit and early childhood education. It also proposes a capital improvement budget of $78 million, which funds construction of county schools.

“Let’s get this school construction party started,” Harris said.

Harris said it was the fourth consecutive year he has presented a budget that did not call for an increase in property taxes.

A potential problem with the proposed tax rate came up in discussion — the county trustee’s office said their system only accommodates two decimal points, meaning the tax rate would need to be set at either $3.39 or $3.40. The difference equals around $2 million.

Commissioner Edmund Ford Jr. said setting the tax rate at $3.40 would technically represent an increase.

Wednesday’s presentation was made to the Shelby County Commission’s Budget and Finance committee. The county commission will adjust the proposal during the budget process and approve a final version.

The complete budget proposal will be available in pdf format to the public and to commissioners on Friday, county officials said.

The current fiscal year ends June 30.