If Mr. Strickland were a little better at research he would see that 80,000 and perhaps as high as 90,000 more people moved away from Memphis than moved in during 2000-2010 based on census and birth-death numbers. Census numbers show that Memphis in the last decade annexed areas that had a census count of 40,000 in 2000. Birth-death numbers indicate that Memphis had at least 40,000 more resident births than deaths during the decade. Yet, the 2010 Census count was about 3,000 lower than the 2000 count. This outward movement was larger than ever before but it was not new. The 1970 Census was the last census to reflect more people moving into Shelby County than were moving out. Since the county areas outside Memphis have continued to increase in population despite major annexations by Memphis, one can say that all of the county's net outflow of people came from within Memphis. Census data also show that more people move from Shelby County to DeSoto County than to any other county in the nation. (The numbers also show that more people move from DeSoto County to Shelby County than to any other county in the nation. Of course, the numbers moving from DeSoto to Shelby are a lot smaller than the numbers moving the other way.) A study has snown that when the Mississippi state income tax and the property tax on automobiles are considered, residents of DeSoto County pay higher taxes than Memphis residents. This flies in the face of Mr. Strickland's views that high property taxes are a major factor in the decision of residents to leave Memphis. Also on taxes, it appears that Mr. Strickland is among council members who want to confuse residents into believing that a higher tax rate and higher taxes are the same thing. Reappraisal programs are conducted to provide more equity among individual taxpayers as far as the amount of taxes they pay compared to each other. At the certified tax rate, which will be calculated once all the data become available, the overall amount of property tax revenue received by the city would not increase. The amount of increased taxes paid by residents with appraisal increases would be offset completely by the reduced revenue from the lower taxes paid by people that received lower property values in the reappraisal. My reappraisal reduced the value of my home for tax purposes. Using a fairly simple method, I determined that it would take a city property tax rate increase of more than 48 cents to increase my city property taxes and a county property tax rate increase of more than 62 cents to increase my county property taxes. At a tax rate increase of 28 cents or so as presented by the Wharton administration, I would receive a significant tax cut compared to this past year. There would be thousands of taxpayers just like me and additional thousands would pay about the same taxes as last year. Yes, there would also be thousands paying higher taxes but this is the normal effect of a reappraisal. Reappraisals in and of themselves have not provided any increased revenue for city and county governments. Most of the increased revenue has come from the City Council and County Commission's setting appeals allowances too high to offset the actual impact of appeals of reappraisal values.If the city property tax rate is increased above the current $3.11 for each $100 of assessed value, many property owners will still receive a tax cut. jcov40
It appears that Councilman Strickland is among council members who want to keep people confused about whether a tax rate increase is a property tax increase during this reappraisal year. Under the figures presented by the Wharton administration, thousands of property owners would still receive property tax cuts compared to the past year. And additional thousands would pay about the same taxes. jcov40
Only voters in Memphis and unincorporated areas will be voting in the sales tax referendum. Under state law, voters in the suburban municipalities cannot participate in the referendum since they have already approved the half-cent tax increase.
Most media outlets and Memphis and Shelby County officials pretty well ignored the Memphis demographic figures that were reflected by the 2010 Census figures and birth-death numbers. During the 2000-2010 decade, Memphis annexed areas that had a 2000 Census count of about 40,000 resdents, The city, including the annexed areas, also had about 40,000 more births than deaths during that period. However, Memphis' population as reported in the census declined 3,211 during the decade. These figures show that 80,000 more people moved out of Memphis than moved in during the decade. That is a big, big number. It seems clear that many of the people left Shelby County entirely and that a significant number left the eight-county metro area. The decade is the first in the city's history in which a major annexation failed to produce a population increase. I think it is bothersome that officials have not publicly conceded that a major problem exists.
If there is any growth in population above births exceeding deaths in Shelby County as a whole in this decade, demographic figures indicate it will result from a continuing increase in the Hispanic population. The 1970 Census was the last census to reflect more people moving into Shelby County than moving away. Census figures show that the 2000-2010 decade was one of the lowest growth decades in Shelby County history.
The local sales tax increases approved in five suburban municipalities will go into effect Oct. 1 more than a month before the the Nov. 6 county referendum. Should the county referendum pass, it appears that the suburban municipalities will receive the revenue from the entire one-half-cent increase until the end of the current fiscal year next June 30. At that time, half the revenue from the increase in the municipalities would shift to countywide school funding. Any municipal school districts that are formed in the five municipalities would receive an average daily attendance share of the increased school funding. Yes, the approval of a countywide increase would "supercede" the municipal increases by changing how the revenue would be divided. However, approval of a countywide increase would not "nullify" the municipal increases as some other folks have written.
The city's proposal is "moot" only if a countywide increase is approved. If the county measure is rejected, the city measure would automatically go on a Memphis-only ballot in a referendum late this year or early next year. History tells me that the county measure will be rejected by voters as similar proposals were in 1975, 1982 and 1990.
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By Hannah Sayle, Chris Herrington, Chris Shaw, Louis Goggans, Greg Akers, Bruce VanWyngarden, Jackson Baker and John Branston
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