Enough!

How much can the citizens of Memphis carry?

I talked with Councilman Myron Lowery at a neighborhood community meeting the other day. You know, I don't think there is a single City Council member who attends more community meetings than Lowery.

The Councilman discussed the hullabaloo over the City Schools. He was frank and clear about his position. Bottom line: We can't keep raising property taxes and the City is paying far more than its fair share to the school system.

Nearly a hundred years ago property was seen as the most logical way to collect funds from citizens. It was the core of most people wealth. During the Great Depression property tax sifted away from State and local to only local government as the chief means of funding city government. In the 1930's and 1940's cities were moving away from property tax and more toward user fees as the main source of revenue but by the late 1950's the baby boom left cities needing an increase in funds to cover the growing school system. Property taxes became the savior and city government never looked back.

As property taxes increased the ability to own property in the City decreased. With the loss of property owners the burden fell on those that where left. This continues until you only have City residents that can't afford to leave. The City of Memphis has the highest combined city/county property tax rate in the entire State. We must stop this vicious cycle.

Agree or not you must commend the City Council for taking a stand and trying to deal with the out-of-control property tax that is turning Memphis into a ghost town.

With the Council voting to cut $93 million from the school system we are already seeing some benefits such as libraries and community centers that were on the chopping block are now no longer being considered for closing and the talk of a property tax “DECREASE” is actually being considered. But what about those that state the schools system is just getting by. It should be noted that the MCS is required to have a rainy day fund of $30 million. Well they have that and then some. MCS has over $80 million in reserve dollars.

Councilman Lowery stated that there is no way the State is going to cut over $400 million from the school budget if the City cuts its funding. I agree. If the State cuts these funds it would be tantamount to closing the schools and that is not going to happen.

Basically Memphis has been the sucker in this process. Over the last several decades we have stood alone paying into the system while the other municipalities have paid ZERO.

With over 80 percent of the Memphis public school children coming from low income homes it is clear the resources are not there to continue down this path. We must work to bring businesses and upper income residents back to Memphis. Dealing with our out-of- control property tax is the first step.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Left Memphis five years ago. If you could solve the crime and tax problems it might be worth me thinking about coming back, but that is a big IF.

Anonymous said...

THANKS TO THE FBI WE HAVE GOTTEN RID OF A LOT OF DEAD WEIGHT ON THE CITY COUNCIL.

MAYBE NOW THEY CAN DO SOMETHING.

AS FAR AS TAXES I WILL TAKE PROPERTY TAXES OVER INCOME TAXES ANY DAY. BUT YOU ARE RIGHT WE NEED TO LOWER PROPERTY TAXES NOW IF WE WANT TO TURN THIS CITY AROUND.

Anonymous said...

Myron Lowery has been very outspoken lately. Does thou sense a possible candidate for mayor?

Anonymous said...

Let's just get it together. The leaders of Memphis have the big picture, but what is that picture without it's citizens. It is time for change in this city. Change the way we think, the way we do business, and the way we treat our citizens.

CSPAN said...

You can barely make ends meet. It pisses me off when you hear things like a billion dollar Stealth Bomber crashing due to moisture getting into the circuitry. WHAT?!?! You build this thing to be invisible, withstand cold, thin atmosphere, and enemy fire but it crashes if it gets wet. Government waste, period.

Reginald Milton said...

To 1:35 P.M.
I hope we can get you back. This City needs every bright, hard working individual we can get. Please don't count us out.

To 4:45 P.M.
If Myron runs for mayor I will definitely consider him. He is a good man.

To 9:36 A.M.
I could not have said it better, amen!

To CSPAN
Yea I heard about that. I would laugh if it didn't hurt so much.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with taxes this has to do with people not wanting to be around people of another race. It's about the haves and have nots. White people have and Black people don't have.

Anonymous said...

Lived in Memphis

Got robbed in Memphis

Got over taxed in Memphis

Got tired of Memphis

Got out of Memphis

Don't miss Memphis

Anonymous said...

I lived all over the country and I have never met a group of people who down their own city as much as Memphians. Memphis is not that bad. Sure we have a crime problem, but the nation is having a crime problem.

Get over it.

Anonymous said...

I just heard they not going to have the utility assistance program anymore. The mayor gets on tv and makes this big speech about how they are going to help us with our utility and only a month later they say it going to be stoped. They need to stop lieing to us!