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Re: “Strickland Presents Public Safety-Focused 2019 Budget

One thing Strickland and the news media missed is that things are lining up for Memphis property owners to receive a property tax cut. It seems to me that that is major news. It is not just a rate cut. It would be an actual tax cut compared to last year.

Posted by jcov40 on 04/26/2018 at 10:15 AM

Re: “Strickland Presents Public Safety-Focused 2019 Budget

Not sure what the word "technically" means in the mayor's tax rate statement. Going to $3.19 would lower the tax rate 8 cents and all Memphis property owners would receive a tax cut. The $3.19 is apparently the "recapture rate" that state law required the city to develop because appeals from last years reappraisal totaled significantly less than the appeals allowance in the the $3.27 certified rate the city adopted last year. The big news from the mayor's budget presentation was that Memphis property owners will receive a tax cut unless the council decides to increase taxes. jcov40

Posted by jcov40 on 04/25/2018 at 11:36 PM

Re: “Attorney Wade Joins Commission Team in Battle with County Mayor

Tennessee Atty. Gen. Herbert Slatery III recently wrote an op-ed page piece that argues against running out and filing lawsuits against drug companies in the opioid situation. He says they will draw a lot of attention but will be tied up in court for years. Slatery argues for a careful, well-planned investigation using the significant powers that the state has. I have no idea which side is correct on this issue, but the stories about the dispute between the mayor and and county commissioners outline only one side of the issue. I do believe the charter powers of who has the authority to hire lawyers and recommend lawsuits are really important issues that need to be firmly decided. Here is a link to Slatery's piece in The Tennessean:


Posted by jcov40 on 12/06/2017 at 4:08 PM

Re: “Roland vs. Lenoir: Next Year’s Mayoral Battle Flared Up in County Budget, Tax-Rate Debate

As with all reappraisals, thousands of homeowners in the county will receive tax increases. some will pay the same taxes and many, perhaps thousands, will get tax cuts. That would have been true wherever the rate was set. Since a reappraisal affects each property owner individually, it is impossible during a reappraisal year to set a rate that would give everybody a tax cut without bankrupting the county. It is possible to calculate mathematically the
percentage of appraisal increase that would result in a homeowner's paying the same property taxes this year as last year. At the adopted $4.11 rate, it's 6.3 percent. Had the rate been set at $4.13 it would have been 5.8 percent. Homeowners whose appraisals went up more than 6.3 percent will pay higher county property taxes in the coming year than they did in the past year. Those whose reappraisals went down or increased less than 6.3 percent, will have a tax cut. If you want to know whether you and your neighbors will be paying higher or lower taxes or the same, go to the county assessor's website and check the reappraisal values compared to last year's values. jcov40

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Posted by jcov40 on 07/20/2017 at 6:03 PM

Re: “New Budget Lowers Taxes, Hires Cops, & More

At the $3.27 tax rate, homeowners whose appraisals went up more than 3.9 percent will have tax increases and those whose appraisal increases were less than 3.9 percent will have tax cuts. jcov40

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Posted by jcov40 on 06/07/2017 at 4:28 PM

Re: “Council Recap: Beale Street Bucks, Railgarten Get New Ways Forward

If the council's chairman wants to move ahead and put the new Beale Street Bucks program into effect as soon as possible, all he has to do is move the matter ahead to the mayor as soon as possible and get the mayor to sign it. This would make the council's approval of the minutes a moot issue. The council has misled the public for decades about approval of the minutes being required. jcov40

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Posted by jcov40 on 05/24/2017 at 11:04 PM

Re: “Disunity

The dispute on county surplus funds is quite a bit more complicated than some county commissioners would have you believe. The 2015 disagreement on the amount of county surplus funds centered substantially on the results of a practice the then county administration and a group of commissioners developed in 2007 to cap the amount of property tax revenue that schools received each year at the figure approved in the county budget for schools. Commissioners at that time added a sentence to the county tax rate ordinance that calls for any excess revenue (surplus) collected from property taxes for schools to be held back and applied to school funding in the following year. This may sound all good and proper but what it did in many years was to create a major surplus in the year the taxes were collected and apply the funds to the next year's budget. This amount, which was $10.8 million in the 2015 fiscal year, was subtracted from wheel tax revenue that had been originally designated for schools. Officials said the $10.8 million was then used to pay debt service on school bonds. Funding of school bonds is an obligation of the general county government and cannot come from county property taxes designated for schools. It is all very complicated and hard to follow and the holding back of county property tax funds by the county trustee appears to ripe for a legal challenge by school officials. Some school officials know about the practice but so far there has apparently been no move to take the issue to court. This $10.8 million in "excess school property tax revenue" appears to be a major factor in the difference in surplus figures presented by county officials in 2015. In the 2016 fiscal year, that ended last June 30, the "excess" totaled only $318,567 and that is the amount of funds what were shifted. It will be interesting to see if school supporters on the county commission allow the sentence on "excess" collections to remain in the tax rate ordinance. There may be legal question about whether the commission has the authority to place the sentence in the tax rate ordinance. And does the wording bind the county trustee, an independently elected official, to holding back the funds? jcov40

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Posted by jcov40 on 04/20/2017 at 4:21 PM

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