The deadline to settle tax bills before being charged a penalty is Feb. 29.
Washington County Trustee Rick Storey said Tuesday more than 54% of the county’s taxes have been collected as of earlier this month. Property tax notices were mailed in October covering more than 64,500 parcels in the county.
“Collections at this point are 4% above the point they were in 2018,” Storey said. “It seems like they were coming in pretty good in December.”
Beginning March 1, a 1.5% monthly late fee will be charged to unpaid tax bills.
Storey said property owners can pay their taxes by mail, or make their payments in person at either one of his office’s locations in the Washington County Courthouse, Jonesborough, and the County Clerk/Trustee office at 378 Marketplace Blvd., Suite 1, Johnson City.
The offices are open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The trustee’s office in the Jonesborough courthouse will also be open from 8 a.m. to noon on Feb. 29.
Taxpayers are asked to call 753-1602 if they have any questions about their tax bills or tax relief.
The Washington County Trustee’s office now allows taxpayers to make partial payments on their tax bills — paying in monthly increments instead of one lump sum — up to the penalty deadline. The county also allows monthly pre-payments on the next year’s property taxes.
The state provides property tax relief to elderly and disabled property owners. To qualify, a homeowner must be 65, or be totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or other related agency.
Annual income for all property owners applying for tax relief must be less than $29,860 in 2018. The state will pay as much as $153.70 on a participant’s tax bill, with the county making a similar match.
Tennessee also offers property tax relief for veterans and their widows or widowers. Veterans must qualify through the state’s Department of Veterans Services to be eligible to receive up to $975.14 from the state (along with a local match) for their property tax bills.
Property tax bills are calculated on state-mandated reappraisals that are used to set the assessed property tax values of houses and businesses. Property owners have a right to appeal all new appraisals to the county’s Equalization Board.
Washington County’s property tax rate is $2.15 for every $100 of assessed value for the 2019 fiscal year.