County commission set to approve new property tax rate

Updated: Jun. 20, 2021 at 7:10 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Shelby County commissioners are set to take a final vote Monday on a new property tax rate, as they move toward closing out the budget season.

If approved, the vote will amount to a one-cent property tax increase.

Following this year’s county reappraisal, Shelby County’s state-certified tax rate fell from $4.05 to $3.45.

Commissioners approved a plan to raise that rate by one penny to $3.46.

The extra money will pay for youth and adult mental health treatment, which is something a group of non-profits has been pushing for.

Adopting the new tax rate will bring commissioners a step closer to finalizing the county’s $1.4 billion budget.

During committee hearings, commissioners agreed to spend $1.3 million in recurring funding on MATA (Memphis Area Transportation Agency) and restored $2 million to the juvenile detention center.

Commissioners are also set to approve employee bonuses.

Full-time employees will receive $5,000 bonuses and part-time employees will get $1,600 bonuses.

In nonbudget matters, commissioners will also consider new ethics rules to deal with possible conflicts of interest for county officials, including the commissioners themselves.

It comes as one commissioner, Edmund Ford, Jr., faces a criminal investigation after a county investigation found he violated the ethics code by failing to reveal he was selling computers to an agency that won a large county grant in the same year.

Ford has not been charged with a crime and his attorney, Allan Wade, says Ford has never used his position as a county commissioner to enrich himself.

Commissioners will also vote on Shelby County Schools’ record $2.2 billion budget, which is about double what it normally is because of federal COVID-19 stimulus funding.

The Shelby County Commission meeting begins at 3 p.m. on Monday.

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