Councilman Strickland e-mails Tax Warning & Request

City Councilman Jim Strickland has e-mailed a warning and request concerning the city budget and your taxes. He urges citizens to speak out and show up Tues. (6/16) after 3:30 pm at the City Council meeting (ground floor of City Hall (125 N Main)).

Click below to read the e-mail.


The city's budget will be voted on tomorrow, Tuesday, sometime after 3:30 pm, and your help is needed to avoid a large tax increase.

Traditionally, the city's and school board's budget have been approved at the same time by the council, and a unified tax bill was sent to all Memphians. This year, the city's budget will be approved this week, and the school's budget will be approved in July or August. As a result, two tax bills will be sent -- one in July (city) and one in August (school).

Several months ago, the trial court ruled that the city could not reduce funding to the schools. While the case is on appeal, the trial court indicated that, if the city failed to fund for the 2009 - 2010 year, he would immediately order the city to fund up to $57 million.

As a result, it is highly likely that the city will have to fund the schools with $57million in July or August.

If the council passes the mayor's budget, you will receive a tax bill in July for approximately the same amount as last year.

But, in August, you will get a huge tax bill for up to $57 million to pay for the schools because the mayor's budget does not include the school's funding..

At least one council member is trying to agree with the mayor that the city's budget is balanced and ignore the huge bill that will come a month later.

He has written, "I believe we should let the courts resolve the school issue and deal with this at a later date." The problem is that the later date will likely be only 30 days after the city's budget is approved.

Please be on alert and know that whether we have a tax increase will be decided tomorrow; if the city's budget is approved without reductions and/or use of the reserves of $57 million, you will receive a tax increase this year.

You should let your voice be heard in person; please come to the meeting tomorrow at city hall sometime after 3:30 pm.


Councilman Strickland's e-mail is about the city operating budget, but what's in the capital improvement budget is also important. Bonds are issued for these big ticket items, and the annual debt service on those bonds has to come out of future operating budgets.
Riverfront projects in the CIP budget - click HERE.
One of the projects is the $33million boat dock facility Beale Street Landing. Debt service on bonds for this project will be approximately $1.5million annually. For info. on Beale Street Landing click HERE and HERE.