August 16, 2012
As I was looking at my City property tax bill due at the end of August, I ask myself the question “What is residential property tax total as a percentage of the total property tax?”.
You would think that this is a question that could be easily found online. So I went to the City of Memphis, Shelby County and the Shelby County Trustee for the answer. As of right now only the Trustee answered and I thank him and his staff for the outstanding job that they do and their willingness to share their information, much of it online. I am still waiting for the answers from the City and the County although the County numbers should be the same as the Trustee’s numbers.
How much does the County receive in property taxes? For the FY 2011 that amount was shown on their CAFR at $755 million. The Trustee’s report showed $710 million. I am not sure as to why there is a difference. The latest Pilot report for the County showed $48 million in abated taxes so possibly this is the difference.
Take a look at the attached Trustee report which shows that the residential taxpayers paid almost 60% of this $710 million with the industrial, commercial and personalty paying 39%. If those on the Pilot program had paid their abated $48 million this would have brought the total up to 44%. So the homeowners are paying 60% of the property tax bill.
Is this fair? I will have to do more research and wait for the answers from the City of Memphis. In the meantime I will sharpen my turkey quill, moisten my ink pot and get out my checkbook for the Memphis property tax bill due at the end of the month.