Annexation controversy resurfaces over property tax rebates - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Annexation controversy resurfaces over property tax rebates

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - An old controversy is resurfacing after residents forced to annex into Memphis were told they would get a property tax rebate.

A new state law says residents in the former South Cordova area are due a property tax rebate.

"We had to pay taxes for services we felt we didn't receive," said annexed Memphis resident Dipti Fischer.

Last July, the residents learned they lost an 11-year annexation court battle against Memphis. They were shocked to get a full property tax bill just weeks later.

"We had no warning. It was like, here's your bill in the mail," said Fischer.

Germantown Senator Brian Kelsey sponsored the rebate law.

"I think it's pretty clear they are to receive those taxes back," he said.

From the Tennessee Capitol, Kelsey told Action News 5 that the new law says property taxes cannot be assessed until the January after a court ruling, and that all residents must receive a mailed notice, and cities have the right to delay annexation until the end of the calendar year to transition city services.

Kelsey says the law is retroactive.

"These are taxes that were paid, in my opinion, wrongfully," said Senator Kelsey.

When asked where the rebate money would come from, Sen. Kelsey replied, "If the rebate is granted, it would be granted by the City of Memphis."

The city's chief administrative officer says that those taxes were paid in advance for city services like sanitation and sewage. He said a rebate would give those residents preferential treatment and that it has no legal basis.

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