Taxpayers in some area counties may notice a change in their tax bills this year. That's because each of Tennessee’s 95 counties is required by state law to conduct periodic reappraisals of all property on the tax rolls.
Once completed, county officials must recertify the property tax rate — based on the amount of new dollars coming in — to match the amount collected under the last tax rate adopted by their county commissioners.
It should be noted that these reappraisals don’t necessarily mean a property tax increase. Under law, it would take a vote by city or county officials to raise the property tax for the county to claim all those new dollars.
Otherwise, the property tax burden is spread out among new homes and rising property values. In most cases, this results in a lowering of property tax bills.
Property owners also should keep in mind there is a difference between the appraised value of their homes and the amount at which they are assessed for tax purposes. Residential property is taxed at 25 percent of its assessed value. Meanwhile, commercial property is taxed at 40 percent of assessed value.
There is also state program that provides property tax relief to elderly and disabled property owners. To qualify, a homeowner must be 65 years old on or before Dec. 31, 2017, or be totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or other qualified agency on or before Dec. 31, 2017.
Income for all property owners applying for tax relief must be less than $29,180 in 2016.
Gov. Bill Haslam recently signed into law a similar tax relief measure for veterans and their widows or widowers.