Memphis Mayor says school savings eaten by needs

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) -- Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says money saved by eliminating the Memphis City Schools has been consumed by other city needs.

According to The Commercial Appeal, Wharton's budget proposal contains a request to increase the city property tax by 28 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The money would be used to prevent a $26 million budget gap and would be the first property tax increase since 2006.

The proposed increase would produce an estimated $30 million dollars to fund what is essentially a continuation budget.

City Council member Jim Strickland said a high tax rate is why the city is "hemorrhaging population" and said the council would make spending cuts, rather than enact a tax increase.

The Memphis City Schools and the Shelby County Schools are unifying this summer.

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