City Council Set for First Property Tax Rate Vote

By Bill Dries

Memphis City Council members begin setting the stage for the approval of city operating and capital budgets when they meet Tuesday, May 3.

Memphis City Council members begin their review Tuesday, May 3, of the $667 million operating budget proposal of Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland.

(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)

The council agenda includes first-reading votes on two ordinances that are placeholders for the basic passage of tax rates and the allocation of parts of the rate.

One sets the city’s property tax rate for the fiscal year that begins July 1. Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland has proposed a stable tax rate of $3.40 and the council is expected to approve that.

The other ordinance approves the flow of property tax and other revenues into specific funds kept by the city.

With no delays, the final vote on the two ordinances would be at the June 7 council meeting.

That is the target date council budget committee chairman Edmund Ford Jr. has set for final action on all budget matters for the new fiscal year.

The council meets at 3:30 City Hall, 125 N. Main St. Follow the meeting @tdnpols,, and get updates earlier in the day from committee sessions.

The council votes Tuesday on the first of two readings of an ordinance that would start the process of selling the old Central Police Building at 128 Adams Ave. for renovation as a hotel.

With the second reading in two weeks, there will be a bidding process for the sale of the property.

In planning and development items Tuesday, the council votes on a waiver for a hotel in the Dermon Building at 22 N. B.B. King Blvd.

The building’s original use has been as an office building.

The council also votes on a proposed truck stop with a hotel and truck wash on Hollywood Street at Interstate 40 on the site of the old Treasury department store. In addition, the council will consider approving a parking lot at Prescott and Raines roads for employees of Delta Wholesale Liquors Inc.

On hold for now is a full council discussion that had been set for Tuesday on a resolution to settle a dispute between NBA players and the Tennessee Department of Revenue.

The state started a privilege tax of $2,500 per game on NBA players who play in the state.

The per-game rate is assessed for up to three games per annual tax period – a maximum of $7,500, and it applies to all active players on the roster for a team, even if they never play in a game.

The state has eliminated the tax on NBA players for all regular season games played after June 1, 2016.

The Tennessee Attorney General’s office is advising a settlement in which the city would pay $2.3 million to more than 900 NBA players. The city has been holding that money in reserve since 2014.

The city received $7.2 million from the state as its share of revenue from the privilege tax.