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Shelby County property assessor proposes new process as assessments set to rise ’20 and 30%’

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — From Downtown Memphis all the way to the suburbs, property values are skyrocketing across Shelby County, which could mean a higher tax bill for homeowners.

On Wednesday, former Shelby County Commissioner and current Assessor of Property Melvin Burgess visited the commission to address the issue.

“We knew these assessments are going to be high. And that’s why we took our program on the road,” he said.

Property values across Shelby County are higher than ever before. That means homes and properties are worth more. But it also means taxes are also at a historic level.

“Your assessments will be up between 20 and 30 percent, and some even higher than that. But there is growth here in Shelby County,” said Burgess.

The new numbers come as the county goes through the reappraisal process. Typically done every four years, the numbers can be shocking if residents aren’t prepared, so the Assessor’s Office is looking to revamp the process all together. They proposed a two-year reappraisal process to help soften the impact of value changes.

“If there’s growth in the first two years, we can go ahead and capture that, rather than wait four years,” explained Burgess.

“It’s going to create a certified tax rate twice as often as you’re getting now,” said Joe Griffin, a property assessment consultant with the University of Tennessee. “The growth in the county can be captured more rapidly.”

The proposal is being evaluated by the Tennessee comptroller’s office, but officials said as the largest county in Tennessee, Shelby County could be setting a trend.

“Davidson County and other counties will follow us. We’ve always been a leader when it comes to assessments,” said Burgess.

“There’s always advancements that we can take a look at to help us do our job better, cheaper and more accurate,” added Shelby County Director of Appraisal David Baker.

The Shelby County Commission plans to host another presentation from the assessor’s office to learn more details about the proposed process.

Published by WREG

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