David Saks: Property Taxes in Memphis and Shelby County

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

Property Taxes in Memphis and Shelby County


Property Taxpayers aren't facing a "double whammy"; they're facing a "triple whammy". The mayor's depressing prediction that an increase in the property tax rate next year is "almost inescapable" disregards the fact that 2009 is also a reassessment year for the Shelby County Assessor of Property. Along with the higher property taxes, that this mayor is proposing, comes the additional nauseating burden that property taxpayers will face an artificial increase in values of their property once again, both commercial and residential, increasing the tax liability even more.

From 2002 to 2004, the nation's median price of a single-family home rose from $158,100 to $184,100, according to the National Association of Realtors. That's more than a 16 percent increase. Property assessors went crazy taxing the increased equity.

Property taxes are the most hated state and local tax in the nation and this has more to do with rising home prices and another attempt to unfairly tap the higher equity about to surface in the next reassessment period in Memphis and Shelby County next year.

With property tax you pay more when your home increases in value, regardless of changes to your income or whether you ever realize increased gain when you sell your home. Property tax is based on the assessed value of your home and if you live in a neighborhood with appreciating home prices, your property tax bill is going to go up.

When home values rise many local governments try to reduce the property tax rate. Despite rate reductions the total tax bill will still go up when the subject property is slammed with a higher assessment value by the property assessor. Even if there were no property tax increase passed by the local government, the new assessment period is going to grab homeowners by the seat of the pants with an additional tax burden levied on them.

The assessors office will open the door to county-wide tax appeals next year because of Herenton's imposition of a higher tax rate.  Taxpayers must be more vigilant than ever to ensure that their property is not being valued unfairly.

Soaring property taxes are the number one worry in state legislatures across the country because of the housing crisis, resetting adjustable rate mortgages and declining home values in many parts of the nation. Lawmakers are trying to make peace with angry homeowners, homebuilders, and commercial and residential property developers in every state in America searching for property tax caps, limits, exemptions and other ways to ease the burdens.

The mayor resigned on March 21, 2008. (update: the mayor backed out of the plan to resign) With this, hope for many that the reign of a campaign of predatory ad valorem taxation would have finally ended after seventeen years. It is my hope for the citizens of Memphis and Shelby County that this will place the thought of property tax increases on hold for a long, long time in Memphis and Shelby County. I'll sleep better.

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Mr.Saks' participation in ActiveRain ended April 13, 2015.

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Comment balloon 15 commentsDavid Saks • March 16 2008 10:18PM


Hi David

I see this is your first post on Active Rain.  Congratulations!!  I just wanted to welcome you to a fantastic Real Estate Industry Network!  Welcome aboard, I hope you'll continue to Blog, and invite others.  

I’ve added a link to a post called, “NEW MEMBERS – Start Here” that will hopefully get you up and running with the least amount of effort, and also help you to navigate around Active Rain more efficiently.

I hope you'll find this to be a useful post in helping you get started. 

Again, welcome to Active Rain, the best place to start, and have a Blogging experience!

Good Luck to you and your business!  B-)
Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 12 years ago

But you have great BBQ. Our property taxes here are really low and attractive, but there's nary a decent piece of brisket to be found anywhere. Not much of a trade-off I agree, but it's something.


Posted by Gary Bolen, CRS - Lake Tahoe Real Estate Information (McCall Realty) over 12 years ago

Keep us updated on what happens.  Congratulations on your first post.


Posted by Jeff Kessler, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Austin Homes, Realtors www.OwnAustin.com) over 12 years ago

I wouldn't know, since I'm a vegetarian. But it's the thought that counts. I'm inclined to appreciate Elvis 1st and BBQ last. Graceland's not for sale but there are some fine homes within a stones throw of the front gate. Taxes are a little cheaper east of city. The drawback is the annexation anxiety since the river is on the west side.

Thanks for the thoughts, Gary.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 12 years ago
Thanks for your nice comment, Jeff.
Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 12 years ago
Thank you, Brad, for your kind entry.
Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 12 years ago

Thank you, Mr. Matney.

Many good thoughts

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 12 years ago

Hello David,

Welcome to Active Rain and congrats on your first post! The opportunities to learn and network are incredible here. Best of luck to ya!


Posted by Keith Elliott Jr, Principal Broker/Owner (KEIRE Realty Group) over 12 years ago

David - Welcome to the Rain, make sure that you browse the site and become familiar with everything this site has to offer.  The more you browse the more you will learn.  I have found this site to be really helpful to me.  If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to email me, I will do whatever I can to help.

Posted by Dorene Shirley, Silicon Valley Real Estate (The Mortgage & Property Connection) over 12 years ago

Thanks, Keith.


Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 12 years ago

Thank you, Dorene.

Glad to be here.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 12 years ago
Anything I can do to assist you, please let me know. Again, welcome!  :-)
Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) over 12 years ago

Thank you, Brad. It's a privilege, anytime, to share new ideas with you. In the days to come I hope to have some new information and additional thoughts on comparative marketing issues, including preparation of the Broker Price Opinion, as well as consideration of any opinion of value performed by the appraiser or the broker. I'm not licensed to perform an appraisal in Tennessee, but I do provide a casual pro bono BPO on napkins at Starbucks occasionally. I've reviewed lots of new data and input surrounding the wave of enthusiam for the bpo and would like to see more ideas. I also believe that the broker price opinion is beginning to gain popularity because of it's accepted relationship to comparative sales data and the ability to perform it rather expeditiously and cost effectively, as opposed to more rigorously defined components in a formal appraisal which consider the three principal elements of an appraisal including the sales comparison, cost, and income approach to value and their commensurate variation and applicability to one another. The bpo, as you know, cannot be used for determing a loan-to-value option for a borrower. However, I believe that the bpo will assist rather importantly in defining reserves for auction properties that don't rely on financing and are point of sale transactions. The bpo will also provide an additional source of revenue for real estate licensees. More to come...

Good thoughts for all.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 12 years ago

Great post on Property Taxes in Memphis and Shelby County. Its a problem when property taxes are going up. Bigger problem when homeowner house values is doing the exact opposite. Great post.

Posted by Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan, I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES (Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC) over 11 years ago

Appreciate your comment, Lanre. Seems as though the new property assessor is doing all she can to create balance. I was with her a few weeks ago talking about it. The mayor's resignation was slated for July, but he stayed in office.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 11 years ago

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