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Shelby County homeowners experience sticker shock at reappraisals

Updated: Mar. 17, 2021 at 7:11 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - It’s reappraisal time in Shelby County and many homeowners are feeling a bit of sticker shock after discovering their home’s reappraisal value has gone up by quite a bit.

Reappraisals happen every four years in Shelby County.

The last one was in 2017.

In the last couple of weeks, Shelby County Assessor Melvin Burgess has started sending out reappraisal values to property owners across the county.

This year many homeowners experienced sticker shock as they learned the values of their homes had risen 20, 30, even 50 percent.

“This year there were some remarkable and some substantial increases, but that’s the way the real estate market in the Memphis and Shelby County area is. It’s the hottest real estate market in the country,” said Javier Bailey, the chief administrative officer with the Shelby County Assessor’s Office.

Bailey says the market is correcting itself from the Great Recession of 2008-2009 and he says inventory is low right now.

Zillow named Memphis one of the top markets in the country for home sales.

Zillow said nationally annual growth in home values was faster in January than at any point since before the Great Recession.

Homes sold in December spent on average 17 days on the market, according to Zillow.

“The housing market is like none that we’ve ever seen,” said Tim O’Hare with Real Living McLemore & Co. in Collierville.

O’Hare says the hot market in the Memphis area could leave some homeowners feeling their homes are overvalued and others feeling undervalued.

He suggests talking to a realtor.

“The first step, in my opinion, is to have somebody who knows your area and knows the homes sold around your area to go in and see is your home of market value as Shelby County feels that it’s at market value,” said O’Hare.

Bailey says just because the appraisal of your home jumped this year, doesn’t necessarily mean your property taxes will increase.

“Certainly, there’ll be some increases in property taxes, so I don’t want to try to mislead anyone. However, the certified tax rate is what determines how much you’re gonna pay, and the county commission is required by law to adjust that rate downward,” said Bailey. " They’re going to have to lower that tax rate so that there’s not a windfall of revenue coming into the county. Now, after they lower it, it’s up to the county commission as to whether or not they raise it back up or raise it up slightly. But that’s will determine whether or not taxes go up. It’s not our assessment that determines whether your taxes go up, it’s what that tax rate gets set at.”

Bailey said the reappraisal notices are being sent out to six zones in Shelby County (two zones each week). He says notices will be sent to homeowners in the last two zones this Friday.

For more information on the reappraisal process, visit https://www.assessormelvinburgess.com/.

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