Mayor: City of Jackson may owe taxpayers 10 years of property tax discounts

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JACKSON, Tenn. — If you pay property taxes in Jackson, the city may owe you money. An ordinance gives people a discount if they pay property taxes early, but Jackson Mayor Jerry Gist said taxpayers have not received discounts in more than a decade. “Well, I think it’s a great injustice by the city,” Cornell Poe, a taxpayer, said. Gist admitted the city owes taxpayers money. You could be one of them. “The important thing here is that we do the right thing,” he said. Gist said the city passed an ordinance in 1990 giving people a discount if they pay property taxes early. Gist said taxpayers have not received discounts since 2004, when the state started printing the city‘s tax bills. “There’s no discount on those tax bills once they went out, so thusly people did not know the discount existed,” Gist said. The mayor said they did not discover there was a problem until about two months ago. Gist took the item off the agenda at Tuesday‘s City Council meeting to give the city attorney more time to review what they are legally required to do now. Jackson City Attorney Lewis Cobb could not say how many people it affects or how much refunds could cost taxpayers. “I just know there’s a problem. How much? How large? I don’t know,” Cobb said. “What the solutions are, I don’t know.” City leaders said the refunds are small, maybe $5 or $10, but taxpayers like Poe said that kind of money adds up. “People need that extra money,” Poe said. “You know the economy is kind of short with funds at this present stage. You know people are really hurting.” Gist said the city will work with an auditing firm and the state to resolve the issue. He said most people pay their property taxes in December and are not eligible for the discount.

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