Memphis/ Real Estate & Development
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Published on May 22, 2024
Memphis City Council Approves Fine Amnesty to Counter Potential Tax Hike ImpactSource: Google Street View

In an effort to mitigate the impact of a potential tax hike, the Memphis City Council has unanimously approved a resolution establishing an amnesty period for traffic and parking fines. This measure, backed by Councilwoman Jerri Green, allows residents to pay off outstanding fines at a 50% discount from May 21 through June 30. The intention is to recover a portion of the $140 million in uncollected fines accrued over the past decade and, as a result, to possibly avoid or decrease a 75-cent increase in city property taxes, as WREG reported.

Councilwoman Green urged citizens to "step up and do your part as Memphians," citing a trove of unclaimed revenue that could be used to alleviate financial pressures on the city. The proposal by Mayor Paul Young for a tax increase was part of his budget presentation to the Council. A 75-cent hike would translate to roughly $188 more in taxes on a $100,000 home, according to the Mayor's estimates. To further explore ways to quickly generate revenue, the Council is also looking to possibly extend the amnesty period past June, should the initial effort prove constructive, according to FOX13 Memphis.

The proposed property tax increase has faced pushback from residents, prompting the Council to consider creative solutions like the ticket amnesty. "Let's be direct, a 75-cent tax increase is going to hurt us all," Council chair JB Smiley stated, highlighting the potential burden on homeowners. With more than $260 million in unpaid fines and fees identified, the city hopes to reclaim at least a portion to cover fiscal shortfalls. "If we could raise $10 million out of that $265 million that's owed to us, then it could fill one of the holes," Councilwoman Green explained in a statement obtained by FOX13 Memphis.

Residents looking to take advantage of the fine amnesty should contact the Memphis City Court Clerk’s office for more details on how to proceed. This initiative represents an effort to not only recoup lost revenue but also to offer a reprieve to citizens who might otherwise struggle with the additional financial burden of increased property taxes. Despite the affirmative steps being taken, the success of this effort remains to be fully assessed as the deadline draws to a close, as reported by The Daily Memphian.

Memphis-Real Estate & Development