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MEMPHIS, Tenn.– Some people living in Shelby County have another reason to be extra grateful this Thanksgiving. Shelby County’s mayor and trustee announced Wednesday that property tax relief will be available for low-income seniors, disabled residents and disabled military veterans in the county. 

Leaders are calling this a game changer, saying this will make a big difference in thousands of lives.

Cassandra Spearman has another reason to smile when she gathers with her family this Thanksgiving. She has owned her Westwood home more than 20 years.

Ms. Spearman is one of the recipients of property tax relief in Shelby County. Recently, her taxes have gone up which is making things difficult while living on a fixed income.

She knows she’s not alone. There’s many who need to be spending their money on other things.  

County leaders gathered Wednesday to discuss the expanded property tax relief.

It uses federal American Rescue Plan Act funds to double the amount of relief currently available through the Office of the Shelby County Trustee, providing a match to the state’s property tax relief.  

It raises the maximum amount of relief available to seniors and the disabled from $250 to $500 and from $1500 to $3000 for disabled veterans.

“These are also the individuals who deserve our collective embrace, our seniors, our veterans, our disabled residents,” said Mayor Lee Harris.

The county said last year more than 8,100 residents received tax relief.

With the new County matching program, they expect more people to get the needed help. 

Shelby County trustee Regina Morrison Newman says the program is needed to keep residents in their homes.

“The tax relief program is absolutely vital to keeping our residents in their homes,” she said. “And while we set records, breaking new records every year, collecting more taxes than ever before at the same time we’ve entered into more payment plans than ever before. 

Spearman now wants to encourage others to apply.

“There’s a great need and I’m hoping that more people will apply for it because it’s going to help them a whole lot and I’m sure if they need assistance with their applications they can call and have someone help them but they need to be aware, you have some money that you can keep in your pocket,” she said.

The income limit for elderly and disabled residents is $31,190. There is no income limit for disabled veterans, widow(er)s of a disabled veteran, or the spouse of a soldier killed in action.

To get an application for property tax relief on 2021 Shelby County property taxes, please contact Shelby County Trustee Customer Service at (901)-222-0200.

The deadline to apply is April 5, 2022.