A 2019 Memphis City Council meeting. (Photo: City of Memphis)
The Memphis City Council voted Tuesday to certify the city’s tax rate at $2.71 after back and forth discussion.
Before the vote concluded, Councilmember Martavius Jones proposed increasing the tax rate in order to improve long standing issues in the city, such as the affordable housing crisis, the Memphis Area Transit Authority and numerous trash-pick up problems, which led to the departure of Memphis Solid Waste Director Al Lamar.
Jones also referenced a 2015 report from the Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America project that showed that a higher proportion of young adults are out of school or not working in Memphis than in any other city in the nation.
Studies show that young people who spent time out of work or school were more likely to struggle as adults with employment, incarceration, and other social aspects.
Memphis ranks among the cities with the largest incarceration rates, and the city is in need of funds to improve services that have long been neglected, said Jones.
“It is never a bad time to invest in people and take steps to clean up our city,” he added.
Other council members objected to the proposal on the grounds that residents were not given enough time to voice their concerns about a tax increase, and the proposal was shut down by a majority, with only Jones voting in favor.
Jones voted against the $2.71 certified tax rate.
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