Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:10 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:10:21 GMT
(WMC-TV)- Emergency crews have identified most of the 24 people who died, including 10 children, in the tornado Monday. An emergency management official said that six adults are still missing Wednesday. AboutMore >>
In Oklahoma, officials are now estimating the damage done by Monday's tornado to be around $2 billion.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 8:05 PM EDT2013-05-23 00:05:52 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The U.S Attorney's office of the Eastern District of Arkansas sentenced a former West Memphis councilman and a West Memphis police officer for a conspiracy to commit election fraud. Former WestMore >>
The U.S Attorney's office of the Eastern District of Arkansas sentenced a former West Memphis councilman and a West Memphis police officer for a conspiracy to commit election fraud.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:27 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:27:59 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Memphis' Sarah Simmons advanced to the top eight of "The Voice" Tuesday, but other Memphian Kris Thomas is on his way home after being eliminated. Making it to the top 10 was Kris' goal. OneMore >>
Memphis' Sarah Simmons advanced to the top eight of "The Voice" Tuesday, but other Memphian Kris Thomas is on his way home after being eliminated.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 7:02 PM EDT2013-05-22 23:02:30 GMT
(WMC-TV) - As the clean up efforts continue in Oklahoma, many of you are looking for ways to help the victims. With their hands full, people from all over Mississippi showed up at the Landers Center inMore >>
As the clean up efforts continue in Oklahoma, many of you are looking for ways to help the victims.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:58 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:58:20 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The Grizzlies game Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs is causing a headache for the Westin Hotel in downtown Memphis. The hotel is overbooked and people who have had reservations for monthsMore >>
The Grizzlies game Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs is causing a headache for the Westin Hotel in downtown Memphis. The hotel is overbooked and people who have had reservations for months are getting the boot.More >>
MEMPHIS (WMC TV) - If you own a home in Shelby County, you should know by now that you can appeal your property tax assessment ANY year, even though by state law, official reappraisals occur every four years (the last one was 2009).
I'll be the first to say the Shelby County property assessor's website (http://www.assessor.shelby.tn.us) is a wonderful -- and FREE -- resource. That's where you can double-check square footage, property measurements and sales data, including comparable sales ("comps") and values of other homes in your neighborhood.
I've reported many stories of Shelby County homeowners who used the assessor's site to catch the assessor's own mistakes on their property assessments. Those homeowners were able to arrange a free review with the assessor's office and win an adjustment on their taxes.
But it helps to have other resources to keep the assessor's office honest. Enter ValueAppeal.
The Seattle-based service (www.valueappeal.com) claims for $99, it will collate data on your property, comps, etc. and evaluate it against your tax assessment. If ValueAppeal determines you've been over-assessed, it will calculate an estimate of what it believes you could save in taxes, lay out the Shelby County forms for you to start an appeal and sell you a package that can help you fight that appeal.
"Our success rate nationwide is approximately 80% so far," said ValueAppeal's CEO Charlie Walsh. "Our average customer nationwide has saved $839 on their property taxes."
The thing is -- we already have a service similar to ValueAppeal. And it's based right here in Memphis.
Chandler Reports (www.chandlerreports.com or www.shelbytaxappeal.com) offers a $49 tax tool kit. In addition to sales comps, the kit includes a foreclosure effect report that analyzes the impact of foreclosures over the last two years on home values within a quarter mile of your house.
Wendy Greenlaw, Chandler Reports' business development manager, said its data analysts will even help you find sales comps in your neighborhood that the assessor's office might have missed.
"This year, Chandler Reports has been providing free property analysis at www.shelbytaxappeal.com to assist homeowners with determining if they even have a chance of a successful appeal before purchasing our $15 sales comparables or our $49 2011 Tax Kit," she said.
Last year, Anne Caraway of East Memphis used Chandler Reports to fight her property appraisal. According to comps data, her White Station-area home was over-valued by more than $15,000.
After she followed the Chandler Reports tool kit, she said the assessor came back with a more reasonable value -- and a lower tax burden.
"The assessor came back with a $1,000 savings for us over a four-year period, so it was really nice to get that break," said Caraway.
I tested both services on my property. I discovered both maintained accurate information about my home's specs and assessed value.
ValueAppeal determined I had been over-assessed and suggested I could save $1,300 over the next two years using its report of sales comps and other data should I decide to appeal. However, not one of the comps was within a block of my house. Sure, they were comparable homes in my subdivision, but each was a half-mile or more away.
Chandler Reports, at half the cost, also suggested I had been over-assessed, but said my potential savings was $904, less than the savings suggested by ValueAppeal. But at least one of the homes in the comps was one within a block of my house.
"I can argue an appeal for my clients with either one of them," said Memphis attorney Paul Billings. "They're both very good. ValueAppeal's report format lays out the differences in various properties very concisely and clearly."
Greenlaw said ValueAppeal attempted to purchase Chandler Reports' proprietary software a few years ago, but the deal was refused.
Both seem to be worthwhile services to consider to compare the data they have on your home and property taxes against the Shelby County assessor's database.
One word of warning: ValueAppeal's privacy statement indicated it does share your e-mail and certain registration information with third parties.
Wednesday, May 22 2013 10:32 AM EDT2013-05-22 14:32:03 GMT
(WMC-TV) - It is a tiny pest with a big bite that can do major damage. One Germantown family said it only took one infected tick to change their entire lifestyle – something they have been dealing withMore >>
It is a tiny pest with a big bite that can do major damage.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 4:46 PM EDT2013-05-22 20:46:13 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The man accused of killing a police officer walked out of jail a free man Wednesday afternoon. Action News 5's Nick Kenney was there as Timothy McKinney was released. McKinney was accused ofMore >>
The man who pleaded guilty to killing a police officer walked out of jail a free man Wednesday afternoon.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 2:33 PM EDT2013-05-22 18:33:03 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The City of Memphis is saying "goodbye and good riddance" to blight. A derelict apartment complex, formerly called Park Place Apartments, sat vacant for four years breeding crime. It is nowMore >>
A derelict apartment complex, formerly called Park Place Apartments, sat vacant for four years breeding crime. It is now being demolished.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 5:48 PM EDT2013-05-22 21:48:12 GMT
(WMC-TV) - More jobs are coming to Memphis and city leaders are rolling out the red carpet to celebrate. Kruger Products is a leading nationwide towel and tissue manufacturer. The company announced theyMore >>
A Canadian company announced that are adding hundreds of jobs to its North Memphis office. Kruger Products rolled out the red carpet Wednesday afternoon to celebrate the expansion.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:48 PM EDT2013-05-22 16:48:44 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A Mid-South mom is convinced that one of her children was murdered. Frances Chambers has spent the past four years and a lot of money investigating the death of her son Demond. Police in herMore >>
A Mid-South mom is convinced that one of her children was murdered, despite the medical examiner's report. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:10 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:10:09 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Wednesday is the very last day of school for students and also the last day of the Memphis City Schools system. Action News 5's Justin Hanson is speaking to longtime MCS teachers and volunteersMore >>
Wednesday is the very last day of school for students and also the last day of the Memphis City Schools system.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:22 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:22:48 GMT
(WMC-TV) - The Memphis Police Department fired two of its officers Wednesday. Marc Henderson, 32, and Parker Culver, 29, were terminated for personal conduct and violate regulation. In February, thereMore >>
Marc Henderson, 32, and Parker Culver, 29, were terminated for personal conduct and aid to violate regulation.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 6:21 PM EDT2013-05-22 22:21:12 GMT
(RNN) - British officials are saying one man is dead and two others were injured in a possible terrorist attack in London on Wednesday.According to BBC News, eyewitnesses said man was attacked in a streetMore >>
One man is dead after two men attacked him in broad daylight with knives and meat cleavers. More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 12:49 AM EDT2013-05-22 04:49:28 GMT
(WMC-TV) - A flood frustrated resident in a Southaven neighborhood called her backyard an ocean after severe weather Tuesday. Inside Louise Rinhart's home is not much better. "Carpet and I got hardwoodMore >>
A flood frustrated resident in a Southaven neighborhood called her backyard an ocean after severe weather Tuesday.More >>
Wednesday, May 22 2013 9:13 AM EDT2013-05-22 13:13:44 GMT
(WMC-TV) - Firefighters escorted several families from their flooded homes in Horn Lake after a rain-swollen creek rose beyond its banks Tuesday. The firefighters offered piggyback rides to children toMore >>
Firefighters escorted several families from their flooded homes in Horn Lake after a rain-swollen creek rose beyond its banks Tuesday.More >>