This post is written by Jimmie Covington, veteran Memphis reporter with lengthy experience covering governmental, educational, and demographic issues. He is now a contributing writer with The Best Times, a monthly news magazine for active people 50 and older. 

By Jimmie Covington

The assessed value of property for tax purposes is up this year for all areas of Shelby County except Millington, certified tax roll figures released in recent weeks by county Property Assessor Cheyenne Johnson show.

This year marks the second year in a row that the values have increased. The increase is $147.9 million overall countywide, or just under 1 percent, and most if not all local governments are moving toward keeping the same property tax rates this year. This means that most people will be paying the same property taxes in the coming year as they have in the past year.

However, since next year, 2017, is a property reappraisal year in Shelby County, property owners should be prepared for a major increase in their property values next year since reappraisal will pick up the major post-recession increase in home prices.

The 2013 reappraisal reflected the major drop in home values that occurred in the recession. As a result of the assessed value drop, local governments increased their tax rates to bring in basically the same amount of revenue in 2013 as 2012.

It is unclear whether most Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission members ever really understand reappraisals and their impacts.

Officials in office in 2013 talked at great length about property tax increases.  However, despite the rate increases in 2013, a majority of homeowners across Memphis and Shelby County paid lower 2013 property taxes than 2012 property taxes. And those lower taxes have continued since then and will continue this year.  (Many businesses did pay higher taxes in 2013 and afterward since business properties did not decline as much in value as residential properties.)

Next year will likely be a different story for homeowners. However, all of that is a year away.

The 2016 values reflect how much the value of new construction in the past year has exceeded the amount of the successful appeals from the 2015 values. Both the 2015 and 2016 figures in the chart below are pre-appeal figures so the final total values on which the tax rates are applied will be lower than the totals in the chart.

In collecting taxes, the tax rates are applied to each $100 of the assessed value of properties.

It is unclear why Millington had a decline in assessed value. A possibility is that successful appeals had a higher total than new construction.

Shelby County Assessed Values


Places                                2015                               2016                          Difference
Shelby County all           $16,723,901,740         $16,871,863,015          +$147,961,275
Memphis                          $10,257,992,363        $10,300,420,103            +$42,427,740
Arlington                              $279,664,385              $294,855,710              +$15,191,325
Bartlett                              $1,136,368,492          $1,146,813,937               +$10,445,445
Collierville                         $1,471,459,590          $1,505,569,330               +$34,109,740
Germantown                    $1,407,591,795          $1,447,257,150               +$39,665,355
Lakeland                            $311,542,540              $315,999,720                    +$4,457,180
Millington                         $169,360,610              $164,444,435                     -$4,916,175
Unincorporated              $1,689,921,965          $1,696,502,630                   +$6,580,665


Source: Shelby County Property Assessor



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