Shelby County Might Impose New Fee on People for Having Three or More Cars


Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris reportedly wants to impose a fee on families and businesses that have three or more vehicles.

This, according to various Memphis-based news outlets, including

And, according to, Harris is surprised that this proposed plan has angered so many county residents.

WMCActionNews5 laid out the plan in detail.

“Own more than two cars? You’d pay a $145 fee for each additional car in your household or company fleet. Mayor Harris says the fee will generate $9 million for MATA. But critics say it will drive more people out of Shelby County,” according to the website.

“Harris campaigned for mayor promising a funding solution for MATA. Bus company execs say they need an additional $30 million a year to bring MATA up to the standards required to serve the local population adequately.”

WMCActionNews5 said you wouldn’t get assessed a fee on the first two cars, just the vehicles beyond that.

“The sustainability fee would have to be approved by the 13-member Shelby County Commission,” according to the website.

WMCActionNews5 went on to say that at least three public hearings on the matter are scheduled.

According to The Memphis Commercial Appeal, the proposed plan still leaves the Memphis Area Transit Authority $20 million short of its goal.

“If the vehicle fee brought in higher revenues than expected, MATA would receive all of the additional revenue under Harris’ proposal,” according to the paper.

“Only around 17 percent of the county’s households have three or more cars registered, meaning most won’t be impacted by the fee. The $9 million estimate does not include any fees raised by commercial properties.”

The Memphis Commercial Appeal went on to say Harris wants a vote on the plan before February of next year.

Harris took office in September of last year. He previously served on the Memphis City Council and in the Tennessee State Senate.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Crowded Driveway” by Accord14 CC2.0 and “Lee Harris” by Lee Harris.





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6 Thoughts to “Shelby County Might Impose New Fee on People for Having Three or More Cars”

  1. 83ragtop50

    How many cars does he think a person can drive at one time. This is about as loony as anything that I have ever heard. Of course, it is Memphis.

  2. SamW

    So just swap plates from one vehicle to the other or if they issue two plates per vehicle only display one on each vehicle…..

  3. Horatio Bunce

    How about this idea: The people who ride the bus pay for the bus ride costs. You could even call it a “user fee” like Susan Lynn would.

    Oh, and FedEx is surely not exempted in the Mayor’s plan….are they? They should have money to spare since they do not pay full tax on their fuel (let alone Republican gas tax increases three years running) like other Tennesseans do. I seem to remember that special interest legislation was worth $10-20 million per year in corporate welfare. Mark Norris could verify the math on his corporate welfare bill.

  4. Ed

    Lee’s idea is a carbon copy of failed California thinking and should be quickly and loudly
    rejected. This is nothing more than a grow government scheme that will lead to other problems
    that will require more taxes and bigger government to fix “problems” that government created
    in the first place.

  5. Rick

    More money is not the problem and never has been. This guy must have gone to the Briley School of Management.