Do you think City Council and County Commission members really understand reappraisal programs and how they affect taxpayers? I doubt it.
Basically under whatever tax rate is set after a reappraisal, some people will pay higher taxes, some will pay lower taxes and some will pay the same. Of course, a higher rate means more people will pay higher taxes and fewer people will pay the same or lower taxes. However, wherever the rate is set, there will still be some people paying the same or lower taxes.
At the certified rate, which is designed to bring in the same amount of revenue as was received before the reappraisal, the total increased revenue from people paying higher taxes will equal the cut in taxes that results from the people who pay lower taxes.
After I received my reappraisal figure recently, I did a little calculating. My appraised value went down 13.3 percent. Although I think the new value is still higher than the amount I would receive from sale of the property in today’s world, I think it is a fairly reasonable figure.
I calculated what Memphis and Shelby County tax rates would have to be adopted for me to pay higher taxes than I paid this past year. The city property tax rate would have to go up more than 48 cents for me to have a city property tax increase. On the county side, the rate would have to go up more than 62 cents. Even with an overly generous appeals allowance, I doubt that either rate would go this high. So it is highly unlikely that I will have either a city or county property tax increase this year. I am sure there are thousands of property owners who fall in the same category as I do.
I see the city administration has estimated that, based on the preliminary appraisal figures, a city tax rate increase from the current $3.11 to $3.25 would be needed to bring in the same total revenue as this past year.
A $3.25 rate would still leave me with a cut of 9.4 percent in city property taxes. The city rate would have to go above $3.59 for me to have a tax increase.