budget hearings

By Jimmie Covington

The assessed value of property for tax purposes in Memphis and Shelby County has dropped overall for the second year in a row, according to certified tax roll figures released recently by the Shelby County Assessor’s Office.

However, the drop was lower than in 2013, a reappraisal year, and was expected as a result of successful appeals to the county Board of Equalization plus slow economic growth overall.

Although the countywide assessed value dropped 4 percent in 2013 from 2012, property owners filed 27,200 appeals with the equalization board. The 2012 to 2013 drop was attributed to the housing bust and economic downturn. The Memphis drop in 2013 was 2.4 percent.

This year, the assessed values declined 3.5 percent in Memphis and 2.1 percent countywide compared to the figures a year ago. Only Arlington, Collierville and unincorporated Shelby County saw value increases this year, the tax roll figures show.

Although property tax rates were increased last year in Memphis, Shelby County and in most if not all suburban cities to offset the effect of the reappraisal, a majority of homeowners across the county paid lower property taxes compared to 2012 as a result of the reduced property values. About two-thirds of homeowners paid lower county property taxes than in the previous year.

Many businesses, however, paid higher county taxes.

Any tax rate increases approved by local governments this year would reflect a tax increase for most property owners.

And since local governments included appeals allowances in setting tax rates last year, it’s unlikely that the lower values this year will result in revenue shortfalls for the governments.

This year’s values also will be subject to appeals to the Board of Equalization.

The assessed value figures can be considered indicators of where growth is occurring.

Property tax rates are applied to each $100 of assessed value. Residential and farm properties are assessed at 25 percent of the appraised values established by the Assessor’s Office and commercial and industrial properties are assessed at 40 percent.


Shelby County Assessed Values

Places                          2013                                        2014                            Difference

Shelby County All        $17,040,573,160                     $16,677,788,335         -$362,784,827

Memphis                     $10,536,759,560                     $10,168,275,593         -$368,483,967

Arlington                     $268,383,775                          $273,687,540              +$5,303,765

Bartlett                        $1,136,673,030                       $1,131,406,402           -$5,266,628

Collierville                   $1,446,885,170                       $1,452,527,470           +$5,642,300

Germantown               $1,409,489,585                       $1,401,441,890           -$8,047,965

Lakeland                      $307,262,405                          $306,409,940              -$852,465

Millington                   $168,185,180                          $164,129,730              -$4,055,450

Unincorporated           $1,766,934,455                       $1,779,909,770           +$12,975,315

Source:  Shelby County Assessor’s Office