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The Week in Review

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The debate over whether to change how often Shelby County property is reappraised continued last week with the County Commission pulling from its agenda a proposal for more frequent reappraisals as sought by Assessor Melvin Burgess.

The commission pulled the proposal after opposition from Realtors. Instead, Commissioner Michael Whaley suggested a pilot project under which property would be next reappraised in 2023 with the commission voting at that time on whether to make it the first reappraisal in a new, shorter cycle. Property is now reappraised for taxation purposes every four years.

Also last week, there was more movement in the debate over the proposed Byhalia Pipeline project. A spokesman for one of the two pipeline companies involved said the companies are open to more discussions with the Memphis City Council.

And on the COVID front, Gov. Bill Lee announced the end of statewide public health orders and signed an executive order ending mask mandates in the 89 counties under the control of the Tennessee Department of Health. He asked the six urban counties with independent health departments, including Shelby, to end theirs as well by May 30. Four of the six counties agreed to end the mandates or have already done so; Davidson County said it plans to end business restrictions for the Nashville area May 14. Shelby health officials say the numbers could be low enough by late May to make the call.

Finally, Memphis Police Chief nominee Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis took questions from the public during an hour-long online forum April 30. — Metro editor Ron Maxey

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Shelby holds out on ending mask mandate as other metros fall in line
 

Sullivan, Knox, Hamilton and Madison counties lift mask mandates; Davidson is waiting.

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County Commission withdraws reappraisal proposal
 

The proposal by Assessor Melvin Burgess would have moved the cycle of countywide property reappraisals for taxation purposes from once every four years to every other year.

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Memphis Police Chief nominee talks protest and policing in online forum
 

Memphis Police Chief nominee Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis met the public on a limited basis Friday, April 30, during a one-hour online Q&A session with screened written questions. 

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Morgan says resetting local property tax rate could spawn tax hike move
 

City Council budget committee Chairman Worth Morgan said that the drop of the city property tax rate below $3 as appraised values have increased could set the stage for a tax rate hike.

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Byhalia Pipeline spokesman says group interested in talking
 

The offer to talk came Tuesday, April 27, at a Memphis Rotary forum at which the pipeline companies and the most visible pipeline critic each spoke. Proposals are pending before the council that would require more local approval.

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Fight against Byhalia Connection continues ahead of key council vote
 

Many of the speakers reiterated concerns about the pipeline’s potential impact on the city’s aquifer and questioned why the Byhalia Connection had to run through predominantly lower-income Black neighborhoods in Memphis.

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MPD chief nominee touted as 'rising star'
 

As Durham Police Chief Cerelyn “C.J.” Davis awaits confirmation from the Memphis City Council as the new leader of MPD, city leaders, former colleagues and activists from her past weigh in on her law enforcement career. 

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COVID no longer public health emergency, Gov. Lee says
 

Gov. Lee has requested counties with independent health departments — Shelby, Madison, Davidson, Hamilton, Knox and Sullivan — that have remaining business restrictions or mask requirements to lift all measures no later than May 30.

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Update
Juneteenth moving to park where Forrest statue once stood
 

The annual Juneteenth celebration is moving from Robert R. Church Park to Health Sciences Park, held on the grounds where Nathan Bedford Forrest’s statue once stood.

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Violent crime still rising, first-quarter stats show
 

Property crimes dropped during the first three months of 2021, according to data from the Memphis Shelby County Crime Commission and the Public Safety Institute.

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