Information

History of Property Taxation

The property tax is one of the oldest taxes on record. There is evidence it was in use in ancient China. In 1742, New Hampshire instituted the first property tax in the United States. Today it is used extensively throughout the world as a primary revenue source for local governments.

One big advantage of the property tax is its stability. While other taxes, such as the sales tax tend to fluctuate with changes in the marketplace, the property tax remains among the most stable sources of revenue because property values seldom decrease.

The property tax also promotes the concept that the cost of services rendered is shared more equitably among property owners who receive those services, since the tax bill is in proportion to value of their property.

Year to year, in Sumner County, property taxes make up a significant portion of the tax revenue collected. Property tax revenues are used to pay for many essential government services, such as police and fire protection, schools, libraries, the justice system and public works projects.

Tennessee’s property tax was authorized by the 1796 Constitution to be based on the market value of property. However, because not all counties appraised property the same way, the appraisal process was challenged in federal court in the 1960s.

As one major result, the law was changed to provide more frequent reappraisals to ensure equity for all taxpayers. Sumner County, and other major urban areas, is on a four or six-year reappraisal cycle.

This has moved us coser to the goal of equity where taxes are based on the true market value of property and the values are maintained in a more current manner.

The Reappraisal Cycle

Periodic Reappraisal And Equalization

67-5-1601. General provisions – Administration – Costs – Penalty for failure to comply.

(a) (1) Reappraisal shall be accomplished in each county by a continuous six-year cycle comprised of an on-site review of each parcel of real property over a five-year period, or, upon approval of the state board of equalization, by a continuous four-year cycle comprised of an on-site review of each parcel of real property over a three-year period, followed by revaluation of all such property in the year following completion of the review period. Alternatively, if approved by the assessor and adopted by a majority vote of the county legislative body, the reappraisal program may be completed by a continuous five-year cycle comprised of an on-site review of each parcel of real property over a four-year period followed by revaluation of all such property in the year following completion of the review period. The board may consider a plan submitted by an assessor which would have the effect of maintaining real property values at full value as defined by law on a schedule at least as frequent as outlined in this section. In counties which have adopted a four-year or five-year reappraisal cycle, there shall be no updating or indexing of values as there is in counties with a six-year cycle.

(2) In the third year of the review cycle, there shall be an updating of all real property values if the overall level of appraisal for the jurisdiction is less than ninety percent (90%) of fair market value. If the overall level of appraisal for the jurisdiction is greater than or equal to ninety percent (90%) of fair market value, any subclass of property not having a level of appraisal within ten percent (10%) of the overall level of appraisal for the jurisdiction shall be updated to the overall level of appraisal. Further, any group of property within a subclass not having a level of appraisal within ten percent (10%) of the level of appraisal for that subclass shall be updated to the level of appraisal for that subclass. If land market values of farm property in the county are not updated, land use values for land classified as agricultural, forest and open space pursuant to §§ 67-5-1001 – 67-5-1050 will not be updated. When values are updated, the factors or appraisal table changes used to effect the update shall be as determined by the state board of equalization.

(3) Reappraisal shall be accomplished in each county on a four-year cycle, comprised of an on-site review of each parcel of real property over a three-year period, followed by revaluation of all such property in the year following completion of the review period. The board shall consider a plan submitted by an assessor which would have the effect of maintaining real property values at full value as defined by law on a schedule at least as frequent as outlined in this subsection, and if the board finds the plan would achieve this effect, the plan shall be implemented in lieu of indexing. During the review cycle between revaluations, new improvements discovered by on-site review or otherwise shall be valued on the same basis as similar improvements were valued during the last revaluation or otherwise as necessary to achieve equalization of such values, subject to application of periodic value indexes established by the board.

(4) The assessor of property shall maintain a program of real property sales verification in accordance with procedures and rules established by the state board of equalization. The assessor of property shall maintain documentation of the reason for rejection of any sale rejected by the assessor for use in analyzing appraisals.

(b) Any city lying in more than one (1) county shall be reappraised under a separate plan of reappraisal on a cycle determined by the board. The reappraisal shall be accomplished under contract with the state division of property assessments unless the city has established an assessment office separate from the county in which it lies.

(c) (1) (A) Subject to funding, the state shall pay a per-parcel grant to local governments to assist in the cost of reappraisal. The grant shall be determined by the division of property assessments and approved by the board. Such funds shall be expended solely for the purpose for which the grant was made.

(B) The state grant for any county in a four-year or five-year reappraisal program shall be limited to the amount, as determined by the division of property assessments, which would have been paid to the county had it remained on a six-year reappraisal program.

(2) In the absence of any agreement between the county and the cities thereof imposing a property tax, local costs of reappraisal of properties within a city shall be paid one half (1/2) by the county and one half (1/2) by the city. Any city paying one half (1/2) of local costs of reappraisal pursuant to this section shall pay those costs directly to the county government with jurisdiction over the property being reappraised, and shall pay those costs during the fiscal year in which the reappraisal is finalized.

(3) The assessor of property shall submit such plans and reports for reappraisal as the board shall require. The board, with the assistance of the division of property assessments, has the power to approve, modify or disapprove any proposed plan submitted by the assessor of property, including the power to specify or approve any proposed computer assisted appraisal system pursuant to minimum standards which the board shall adopt in considering a proposed system. All work is subject to the supervision and approval of the director of property assessments. The division shall supervise and direct all reappraisals and revaluation programs, to the cost of which the state of Tennessee contributes.

(4) Where the on-site review is undertaken by the county assessor of property and the county assessor’s staff or a professional firm is employed to carry out this work, the division shall monitor the on-site review conducted by the county or the professional firm.

(d) (1) The assessor of property of each county shall prepare a plan for carrying out the requirements of this section and §§ 67-5-1602 – 67-5-1604, in the assessor’s taxing jurisdiction, such plan to be submitted to the county executive and the county legislative body for review in such form, manner and time as shall be determined by the board.

(2) At such time as shall be determined by the board, the assessor shall submit the plan and any pertinent resolution of the county legislative body stating its approval or disapproval to the board for the board’s approval or other action.

(3) Prior to the execution of any contract for reappraisal, the county legislative body shall make appropriate arrangements to finance such contract.

(e) Whenever the classification or assessed value of property is changed as a result of reappraisal, the property owner shall be entitled to notice of such change as otherwise provided by law at least ten (10) calendar days before the local board of equalization commences its annual session and, in addition, shall be given the opportunity to appear at an informal hearing on a day or days scheduled for such hearings. Written notice of any action taken as a result of such hearings shall be sent at least ten (10) days prior to the county board adjournment.

(f) Upon a finding by the division that the assessor of property or the county is unable or unwilling to comply with the requirements under this part, including submission of any necessary plan of compliance required by the board, the director of the division shall report such finding to the board. The board shall notify the assessor of property and the county executive of the nature of the noncompliance and shall indicate the action required to correct such noncompliance. Failure on the part of the assessor or the county to comply within forty-five (45) days of such notification shall result in the withholding of any or all of the state grant for reappraisal scheduled to be received by the county according to the provisions of this part until such deficiency is corrected. If satisfactory action is not taken by the assessor or the county to correct the noncompliance within forty-five (45) days from the date that funds are withheld, the board shall direct the division, and the division shall thereupon be authorized to take such steps as are necessary to ensure compliance with the requirements of this part, and the county found in noncompliance shall reimburse the state for all costs incurred by the state pursuant to this action. If such costs are not reimbursed to the state within ninety (90) days of the date of an invoice for such costs, the state may recover its costs through the deduction of such costs from any state-shared taxes as identified in § 4-31-105, otherwise due the county.

(g) The initial schedule of review and revaluation under this section shall be as determined by the board. The board may modify plans approved prior to May 29, 1997, in order to immediately implement the provisions of this section for tax year 1997. The board may specify a four-, five- or six-year cycle for the initial scheduling of review and revaluation under this section; provided, that approval of the county legislative body shall be required to move a mid-cycle updating of values from an existing reappraisal plan, and any revised plan longer than five (5) years shall include a mid-cycle updating of values pursuant to subsection (b).

(h) (1) There shall also be an updating of the localized and nonoperating real property of public utilities in each county, and such shall be accomplished in the same year as other locally assessed properties.

(2) All assessing and updating of operating properties of public utility companies shall be done by the comptroller of the treasury in accordance with part 13 of this chapter.

(3) All expenses for assessing and updating operating properties of public utilities shall be paid by the comptroller of the treasury.

(i) As part of any reappraisal program conducted pursuant to the provisions of this part, the assessor of property of each county shall identify all cemeteries having historic value as determined by the county historian and the cemetery advisory committee. Every cemetery having one (1) or more tombstones shall be indicated on the tax maps by an appropriate symbol prescribed by the state board of equalization; any cemetery which is not less than one fourth (1/4) of an acre shall be identified as a separate parcel and contain the appropriate symbol.

The Certified Tax Rate

General

The purpose of periodic reappraisal is not to increase the amount of revenue derived from property taxes, but to update and equalize the values of all taxable properties in the county and to ensure that the burden of taxes is distributed fairly, according to those property values.

One of the final steps in the reappraisal process for a jurisdiction is calculating a Certified Tax Rate based on the updated property values. Primarily the responsibility of the county or municipal legislative body, this procedure requires input from both the Assessor of Property and the State Board of Equalization.

Tennessee Code Annotated 67-5-1701 provides that upon a general county reappraisal of all property, the Assessor of Property must certify to the local legislative bodies the total assessed value of all taxable property in their respective jurisdictions. The Assessor must also furnish an estimate of the total assessed value of all new construction and improvements that were not included on the previous assessment roll, and the assessed value of deletions from the previous assessment roll.; Exclusive of new additions and deletions, the local legislative body is required to determine and certify a tax rate which will provide the same “ad valorem” (according to value) property tax revenue that was levied during the previous year.

Prior to final determination of the jurisdiction’s certified tax rate, the legislative body must submit a proposed certified tax rate, including all supporting calculations, to the Executive Secretary of the State Board of Equalization for review.; The Executive Secretary then has 15 days to review the submission and issue a report (or not). The local legislative body, after reviewing the state’s report (if one is issued) may make changes to the rate if they so choose, and then must certify a tax rate as their jurisdiction’s official certified tax rate.

Exceeding the Certified Tax Rate

In order to levy a tax rate in excess of the certified tax rate, the county commission must:

  • Advertise the intent to exceed the certified tax rate in a newspaper of general circulation in the county;
  • Furnish the State Board of Equalization with an affidavit of publication within 30 days after the publication;
  • Hold a public hearing on the issue of exceeding the certified rate;
  • Adopt a resolution to levy a tax rate in excess of the certified tax rate.

If the purpose of exceeding the certified tax rate is solely to offset the amount of reductions to the tax roll caused by County or State Boards of Equalization rulings, the increase may be adopted without following this procedure.

Appealing Your Assessment

Informal Appeals

The first step, although may be bypassed directly to County Board, is an informal discussion of your value with our assessment team. Our goal is a fair and equitable assessment of your property value and seek your input during the reappraisal process. The deadline for an informal appeal is June 1, 2020.

67-5-1402. Duties of Board

The county board of equalization has and shall perform the following duties:

  1. Carefully examine, compare and equalize the county assessments;
  2. Assure that all taxable properties are included on the assessment lists;
  3. Eliminate from the assessment lists such property as is lawfully exempt from taxation;
  4. Hear complaints of taxpayers who feel aggrieved on account of excessive assessments of their property;
  5. Decrease the assessments of such properties as the board determines have been excessively assessed;
  6. Increase the assessments of such properties as the board determines are under assessed; provided, that owners of such properties are duly notified and given an opportunity to be heard;
  7. Correct such errors arising from clerical mistakes or otherwise that may come or be brought to the attention of the board; and
  8. Take whatever steps are necessary to assure that the assessments of all properties within its jurisdiction conform to laws of the state and rules and regulations of the state board of equalization.

67-5-1407. Complaints to County Board of Equalization

(a) (1) Any owner of property or taxpayer liable for taxation in the state has the right by personal appearance, or by the personal appearance of the duly authorized agent of the owner of the property, which agency shall be evidenced by a written authorization executed by the owner or taxpayer, or by representation by an attorney, to make complaint before the county board of equalization on one (1) or more of the following grounds:

(A) Property under appeal or protest by the taxpayer has been erroneously classified or sub-classified for purposes of taxation;

(B) Property under appeal or protest by the taxpayer has been assessed on the basis of an appraised value that is more than the basis of value provided for in part 6 of this chapter; and

(C) Property other than property under appeal or protest by the taxpayer has been assessed on the basis of appraised values which are less than the basis of value provided for in part 6 of this chapter.

(2) Upon such complaint being made before the county board, it may hear any evidence or witness offered by the complainant, or may take such steps as it may deem material to the investigation of the complaint.

(b) (1) Any local governmental entity has the right to make a complaint before the assessor of property and county board of equalization on the value of property within the local governmental entity on one (1) or more of the following grounds:

(A) The property has been erroneously classified or sub-classified for purposes of taxation;

(B) The property has not been included on the assessment lists; and

(C) The property has been assessed on the basis of appraised values which are less than the basis of value provided for in part 6 of this chapter.

(2) Upon complaint by the local governmental entity, the county board of equalization shall give the property owner at least five (5) days’ notice of a hearing to be held before the board; the notice shall be sent by United States mail to the last known address of the property owner.

(c) The county board may hear any evidence or witnesses offered by the local governmental entity or owner or may take such steps as it may deem material to the investigation of the complaint.

(d) When the assessor of property or the county board of equalization requests from the owner, or the owner’s duly authorized agent, specific data regarding the property that is not readily available through public records and is necessary to make an accurate appraisal of the property in question, and such owner or duly authorized agent fails, refuses or neglects to supply this data in a timely manner for the assessor of property or county board of equalization to study and consider, the owner shall thereby forfeit the owner’s right to introduce information concerning the property requested by the assessor of property or any local board of equalization, but denied by the lawful owner or the owner’s duly authorized agent on appeal to the state board of equalization.

(e) (1) Notwithstanding the provisions of this section to the contrary, in any county having a population of not less than seven hundred seventy thousand (770,000) nor more than seven hundred eighty thousand (780,000) according to the 1980 federal census or any subsequent federal census, any taxpayer, or owner of property subject to taxation in the state, has the right to make complaint before the county board of equalization on one (1) or more of the following grounds:

(A) The property under complaint has been erroneously classified or sub-classified or erroneously assessed for purposes of taxation other than as provided in § 67-5-212;

(B) The property under complaint has been assessed on the basis of an appraised value that is more than the basis of value provided for in part 6 of this chapter; and

(C) Property other than the property under complaint has been assessed on the basis of appraised values that are less than the basis of value provided for in part 6 of this chapter.

(2) Any taxpayer, or owner, has the right to appear in person before any county board of equalization, or by an agent having written authorization, by an attorney, by an agent who is registered with the state board of equalization, or by any member of the taxpayer’s or owner’s immediate family. Any county board may permit written appearance and in that event, any subsequent appeal to the state board of equalization shall be limited to those grounds made by written appearance before the county board.

(3) In the event there may be duplicate appeals filed on any parcel or should the board have reason to believe that representation is not duly authorized, the board may require from any agent, or other representative, written authorization signed by the taxpayer.

(4) No agent or other representative shall file an appeal before the county or state boards of equalization without first obtaining written authorization from the taxpayer.

Current CBOE
James Robert Ramsey – County Appointment
Phillip Bradshaw – County Appointment
Al Bennett – County Appointment
Michelle Haynes – Gallatin Appointment
Vacant – Hendersonville Appointment
Alternates – Radford Garrott & Earl Fischer

The deadline to file an appeal with the CBOE is June 12, 2020.

Assessment Appeals Flowchart

Below is a graphic representation of the property assessment appeal process for owners who believe their properties are incorrectly or unfairly assessed for tax purposes.

You can appeal through the State Board of Equalization’s Website

Note:  The first step depicted above, “Discuss the Value with the Assessor” is not mandatory.  However, most conflicts and problems can be resolved at this level and is a highly encouraged starting point.

The Board of Equalization

The county board of equalization is the first level of review for property tax assessments in Tennessee. The Sumner County Board of Equalization consists of five members appointed by the County Commission for two year terms. The appointments are made at the April session of the commission in each even numbered year. The county board can review and change assessments on its own (after notice to affected taxpayer whose assessment is increased), but generally it acts only after receiving a complaint from taxpayers who believe their assessments are too high. The board has the advantage of being familiar with local properties and economic circumstances affecting values; but it has the disadvantage of being subject to pressures from neighbors and local officials with whom its members must come in daily contact. Like most bodies exercising judicial or quasi-judicial authority, the county board must resist undue pressures by focusing on its responsibility to act only on the basis of relevant and competent evidence properly before it. Although its actions are subject to review by the State Board of Equalization, the county board is the quickest and most convenient forum for taxpayers to complain. The performance of the county board will likely leave a lasting impression with each taxpayer.

It is important to note that when meeting with the board of equalization, there is no discussion of taxes as their only authority rest with determining the value of the property.

The Appeal Process

Assessor of Property
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Local Board of Equalization
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Administrative Law Judge
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Assessment Appeals Commission
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State Board of Equalization
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Courts

Property Exemptions
General Exemptions

67-5-212. Religious, charitable, scientific, educational institutions – Assessment Act.

(a) (1) (A) There shall be exempt from property taxation the real and personal property, or any part thereof, owned by any religious, charitable, scientific or nonprofit educational institution which is occupied and used by such institution or its officers purely and exclusively for carrying out thereupon one (1) or more of the purposes for which the institution was created or exists, or which is occupied and used by another exempt institution purely and exclusively for one (1) or more of the purposes for which it was created or exists under an arrangement where under the owning institution receives no more rent than one dollar ($1.00) per year; provided, that the owning institution may receive a reasonable service and maintenance fee for such use of the property; and provided further, that no church shall be granted an exemption on more than one (1) parsonage, which shall include not more than three (3) acres of land except as hereinafter provided; and provided further, that no property shall be totally exempted, nor shall any portion thereof be pro rata exempted, unless such property or portion thereof is actually used purely and exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific or educational purposes.

(B) Notwithstanding the limitations contained in this subdivision (a)(1), that portion of the real property owned by the headquarters of a religious institution, which was previously used as the campus of a college owned and operated by such institution is exempt from taxation, if such real property is leased to a non-profit organization exempted from the payment of federal income taxes by the United States internal revenue code (26 USC § 501(c)(3)) which is leasing the property from such religious institution to operate a K-12 school and which organization has been accredited by the Tennessee association of non-public academic schools. This exemption shall be granted even though the religious institution is receiving more than a reasonable service and maintenance fee for such use of the property but less than fair market value through a lease agreement with such non-profit organization. Such tax exemption shall be retroactive to the first use and reclassification of property to which it applies.

(2) In determining the exemption applicable to a post-secondary educational institution, there shall be a presumption that the entire original campus of an institution chartered before 1930 is an historical and integral entity, and is exempt so long as no particular portion of such campus is used for nonexempt purposes.

(3) The property of such institution shall not be exempt if:

(A) The owner, or any stockholder, officer, member or employee of such institution shall receive or may be lawfully entitled to receive any pecuniary profit from the operations of that property in competition with like property owned by others which is not exempt, except reasonable compensation for services in effecting one (1) or more of such purposes, or as proper beneficiaries of its strictly religious, charitable, scientific or educational purposes; or

(B) The organization thereof for any such avowed purpose be a guise or pretense for directly or indirectly making any other pecuniary profit for such institution, or for any of its members or employees, or if it be not in good faith organized or conducted exclusively for one (1) or more of these purposes.

The real property of any such institution not so used exclusively for carrying out thereupon one (1) or more of such purposes, but leased or otherwise used for other purposes, whether the income received there from be used for one (1) or more of such purposes or not, shall not be exempt; but if a portion only of any lot or building of any such institution is used purely and exclusively for carrying out thereupon one (1) or more of such purposes of such institution, then such lot or building shall be so exempt only to the extent of the value of the portion so used, and the remaining or other portion shall be subject to taxation.

(b) (1) Any owner of real or personal property claiming exemption under this section or § 67-5-207§ 67-5-213 or § 67-5-219 shall file an application for the exemption with the state board of equalization on a form prescribed by the board, and supply such further information as the board may require to determine whether the property qualifies for exemption. No property shall be exempted from property taxes under these sections unless the application has been approved in writing by the board. A separate application shall be filed for each parcel of property for which exemption is claimed. An application shall be deemed filed on the date it is received by the board or, if mailed, on the postmark date. The applicant shall provide a copy of the application with any supporting materials to the assessor of property of the county in which the property is located. An application for exemption pursuant to this section or any other section referring to these procedures shall be treated as an appeal for purposes of § 67-5-1512.

(2) The board shall make an initial determination granting or denying exemption through its staff designee, who shall send written notice of the initial determination to the applicant and the assessor of property. Either the assessor of property or the applicant may appeal the initial determination to the board and shall be entitled to a hearing prior to any final determination of exemption. The assessor shall maintain on file copies of any approved applications. Upon approval of exemption, it is not necessary that the applicant reapply each year, but the exemption shall not be transferable or assignable and the applicant shall promptly report to the assessor any change in the use or ownership of the property which might affect its exempt status.

(3) Any institution claiming an exemption under this section which has not previously filed an application for and been granted an exemption for a parcel must file an application for exemption with the state board of equalization by May 20 of the year for which exemption is sought. If the application is approved, the exemption will be effective as of January 1 of the year of application or as of the date the exempt use of such parcel began, whichever is later. If application is made after May 20 of the year for which exemption is sought, but prior to the end of the year, the application may be approved but will be effective for only a portion of the year determined as follows:

(A) If application is filed within thirty (30) days after the exempt use of the property began, exemption will be effective as of the date the exempt use began or May 20, whichever is later; or

(B) If application is filed more than thirty (30) days after the exempt use began, the exemption will be effective as of the date of application.

Until December 31, 1997, notwithstanding the date of application, the board may establish an effective date of exemption up to one (1) year earlier than the date of application, dating back no earlier than the date the exempt use began, to the extent the property does not exceed three hundred thousand dollars ($300,000) in value.

(4) All questions of exemption under this section shall be subject to review and final determination by the board; provided, that any determination by the board is subject to judicial review by petition of certiorari to the appropriate chancery court. All other provisions of law notwithstanding, no property shall be entitled to judicial review of its status under this statute except as provided by the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, and only after the exhaustion of administrative remedies as provided in this section.

(5) The state board of equalization may revoke any exemption approved under this section if it determines that the exemption was approved on the basis of fraud, misrepresentation or erroneous information, or that the current owner or use of the property does not qualify for exemption. The executive secretary of the board may initiate proceedings for revocation on the executive secretary’s own motion or upon the written complaint of any person upon a determination of probable cause. Revocation shall not be retroactive unless the order of revocation incorporates a finding of fraud or misrepresentation on the part of the applicant or failure of the applicant to give notice of a change in the use or ownership of the property as required by this section.

(c) As used in this section, “charitable institution” includes any nonprofit organization or association devoting its efforts and property, or any portion thereof, exclusively to the improvement of human rights and/or conditions in the community.

(d) (1) The property, or any part thereof, owned by any religious, charitable, scientific or educational membership nonprofit organization chartered by the United States congress shall not be denied exemption because administrative, social or recreational activities of such organization are conducted thereon, where the activities are:

(A) Agencies for the advancement and enlargement of the purposes for which the organizations exist;

(B) In furtherance of the general purposes of such organization; or

(C) Promote the interest of its membership in such organizations.

(2) When property is owned by corporations organized for the exclusive purpose of holding title to property for use of any organization which itself qualifies for such exemption from taxation under this subsection (d), only such property of the corporation, or such parts thereof, as would be entitled to an exemption under this subsection (d) if owned directly by such organization shall not be denied exemptions.

(3) The exemption of property or parts thereof under this subsection (d) shall be applicable only to such part of the property on which such organization conducts administrative, social or recreational activities if it is less than the entire property.

(e) (1) There shall be exempt from property taxation the property of labor organizations exempted from the payment of federal income taxes by the United States Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(5)), when such property is not used for revenue producing profit, but is used by such organization for charitable or educational meetings, but if part of the property is used for revenue producing profit, then the part so used shall not be exempt from property taxation; provided, that the real property on which the building is situated shall be exempt from property taxation.

(2) No such organization which discriminates against any person based upon race, sex, religious beliefs or national origin shall be eligible for the property tax exemption authorized by this subsection (e).

(f) There shall be exempt from property taxation the property or any part thereof of nonprofit artificial breeding associations chartered under the provisions of the Tennessee Nonprofit Corporation Act, compiled in title 48, chapters 51-68.

(g) (1) In the case of property that is owned by any religious, charitable, scientific or educational institution and on which such institution constructs improvements to be occupied and used by such institution or its officers purely and exclusively for carrying out thereupon one (1) or more of the purposes for which the institution was created or exists, the property, to the extent of the value of the improvements constructed thereon for these purposes, shall be considered to be occupied and used by the institution or its officers purely and exclusively for the institution’s purposes from and after, but not before, the commencement of the construction of the improvements and to the extent of such value shall be exempt from taxation; provided, that if the improvements upon completion are not so occupied and used, then no part of the value of the property shall be exempt from taxation during the construction of the improvements.

(2) If upon completion of the improvements a portion thereof is not so used and occupied, such portion shall not be exempt from taxation during construction.

(3) If the improvements upon completion are not occupied and used by such institution or its officers for a period of ten (10) years, purely and exclusively for carrying out thereupon one (1) or more of the purposes for which such institution was created or exists, the institution shall be liable for the full amount of property taxes that would otherwise have been due and payable during the period of construction, plus penalties and interest as provided in this title.

(4) Construction begun, and having the effect of activating the provisions of this subsection (g), shall be completed within five (5) years or the effect of this subsection shall be null and void.

(h) There shall be exempt from property taxation the property or any part thereof of fraternal organizations exempted from the payment of federal income taxes by the United States Internal Revenue Code (26 U.S.C. 501(c)), to the extent that such property is used not for revenue-producing profit, but directly, physically and exclusively for religious, charitable, scientific and educational activities.

(i) There shall be exempt from property taxation the property, or any part thereof, of nonprofit county fair associations.

(j) There shall be exempt from property taxation the property or any portion thereof containing one (1) residential dwelling located in a community park which is open to entry by the general public, if such dwelling is owned by a nonprofit religious, charitable, educational or scientific organization which does not receive income from the resident thereof, if such resident does not occupy the dwelling in lieu of a salary, and if such resident by such resident’s presence would discourage or prohibit damage or destruction by vandalism of the organization’s property.

(k) There shall be exempt from property taxation any property upon which a caretaker’s dwelling is located if:

(1) The dwelling is located upon land owned by a nonprofit member organization chartered by the United States congress;

(2) The land immediately surrounding the dwelling is used by such organization for nonprofit religious, charitable, educational or scientific purposes; and

(3) The caretaker’s presence is required for the physical security of the users of the property as well as to discourage or prohibit damage or destruction of the organization’s property by vandalism.

(l) The general assembly finds that public radio broadcasting serves a valid educational purpose so long as the broadcaster holds an educational broadcast license issued by the federal communications commission; and, therefore, that property, or any part thereof, owned by a public radio station which is an affiliate member of the public broadcasting network, and which holds such a license, whether as a transferee, successor, or otherwise, of a license formerly held by the public library board of any county having a metropolitan form of government, shall be exempt from property taxation to the extent the property is used in a manner consistent with the license.

(m) The general assembly finds that public television broadcasting serves a valid educational purpose so long as the broadcaster holds a noncommercial educational broadcast license issued by the federal communications commission. Therefore, that property, or any part thereof, owned by a public television station which is an affiliate member of the public broadcasting network, and which holds such license, whether as a transferee, successor, or otherwise, of a license formerly held by the public school board of any county having a metropolitan form of government shall be exempt from property taxation to the extent the property is used in a manner consistent with the license.

Greenbelt

Content under development

Homebelt

67-5-601 (c). General policy.

(c) (1) The general assembly finds that the increased market value of certain residential property zoned for commercial use has caused an increase in taxes to the extent that citizens are faced with the necessity of selling dwelling houses in which they have lived for many years. The general assembly finds that present use valuation has been extended to others, and is warranted under certain circumstances to relieve the burden of increased taxation to residential owners.

(2) It is the policy of this state that the owners of residential property who have lived on that property for a significant period of time should be allowed to continue to live on that property without a disproportionate increase in taxes due to the property being zoned for commercial use.

(3) For the purposes of this subsection:

  1. “Dwelling house” means a residence occupied by the owner of an estate in that property, with such residence being zoned for commercial use, used solely for residential purposes, and occupied by that owner or a person to whom the current owner is a lineal descendant for a period of twenty-five (25) years or more, together with the real estate upon which it is situated up to a maximum five (5) acres; and
  2. “Owner” means a citizen and resident of Tennessee who occupies the citizen’s or resident’s dwelling house, as opposed to occupying any other residence, for at least nine (9) months out of each calendar year.

(4) Any owner of a dwelling house may make application to the assessor of property of the county in which the property is located for its classification under this subsection. Property which has been determined by the assessor of property to qualify under this subsection shall be valued for ad valorem tax purposes at its market value for residential purposes. The assessment on such property shall include the entire year in which the land is classified under this subsection. Any person who is denied such classification shall have the same rights and remedies for appeal and relief as are provided taxpayers for any action of assessors of property.

(5) Should the use or ownership of the property change so that it no longer qualifies under this subsection, then the property owner shall have the duty of informing the assessor of property. Upon discovering that a property no longer qualifies for classification under this subsection, the assessor of property shall reclassify the property and shall value the same according to its current market value for subsequent tax years. In the event such change in use or ownership does not timely come to the attention of the assessor of property, and upon the assessor discovering that the property no longer qualifies, such reclassification shall affect each year that the property has failed to qualify, and the taxpayer shall be liable for the difference in taxes, including penalty and interest.

(6) It is the legislative intent that the twenty-five-year time period is an integral part of this subsection. If this provision is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be an unreasonable classification or otherwise declared unconstitutional, then this entire subsection shall be null and void.

How to Calculate Your Taxes

Property taxes in Sumner County are calculated utilizing the following four components:

  1. APPRAISED VALUE
  2. ASSESSMENT RATIO
  3. ASSESSED VALUE
  4. TAX RATE

The APPRAISED VALUE for each taxable property in a county is determined by the county assessor of property.

The ASSESSMENT RATIO for the different classes of property is established by state law (residential and farm @ 25% of appraised value, commercial/industrial @ 40% of appraised value).

The ASSESSED VALUE is calculated by multiplying the appraised value by the assessment ratio.

The TAX RATE for Sumner county is set by the county commission based on the amount of monies budgeted to fund the provided services. These tax rates vary depending on the level of services provided and the total value of the county’s tax base. Each city may have a tax rate set as well as special assessments. If you live in the city limits you should contact them concerning special assessment information.

Sumner County$2.262
Hendersonville$0.9187
Gallatin$0.8001
White House$1.0362
Portland$1.06
Millersville$1.00
Goodlettsville$.8163
Mitchellville$.4662
Westmoreland$1.40

To calculate the tax on your property, assume you have a house with an APPRAISED VALUE of $200,000. The ASSESSED VALUE is $50,000 (25% of $200,000), and the TAX RATE has been set by your county commission at $2.262 per hundred of assessed value. To figure the tax simply multiply the assessed value ($50,000) by the tax rate (2.262 per hundred dollars assessed). 

$50,000 / 100 = 500 x $2.262 = $1,131.00 (rounded)

or

($25,000 x .02262 = $1,131.00)

for a tax bill of $1,131.00

Address & Contact

GIS/ Mapping Department
John M. Hurt
johnhurt@sumnercountytn.gov
Steven A Ward
saward@sumnercountytn.gov

Residential
Marty Thompson
Region 1
mthompson@sumnercountytn.gov
Don T Linville
Region 2
dtlin@sumnercountytn.gov
Barry Lovell
Region 3
bloveall@sumnercountytn.gov
Eddie Hesson
Region 4
ehesson@sumnercountytn.gov

Commercial
Phillip Moore
pmoore@sumnercountytn.gov

Greenbelt
Bonnie Graves
bsgraves@sumnercountytn.gov

Personal Property
Jesse Denton
jdenton@sumnercountytn.gov
Jennifer Cross
Jcross@sumnercountytn.gov
Angie Creasy
acreasy@sumnercountytn.gov

Customer Support Team
Suzie Blankenship
sblankenship@sumnercountytn.gov
Kim French
kfrench@sumnercountytn.gov
Sandra Hesson
sandralee@sumnercountytn.gov
Joan Alcantar
jalcantar@sumnercountytn.gov

355 N Belvedere Drive Room 206
Gallatin, TN 37066

615.452.2412 office
615.442.1108 fax

Monday-Friday 8:00 AM- 4:30 PM

We are located in Gallatin, TN just behind the Walmart. Our office is on the second floor.

Assessor of Property

Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
  1. Where can I find information on property tax sales?
Property Appraisal
  1. Why is property taxed in Tennessee?
  2. What does the assessor do?
  3. Will the value of my property change every year?
  4. How is my home appraised for property tax purposes?
  5. How does the assessor determine market value?
  6. Does the assessor visit my property?
  7. If I bought my house last year, shouldn't the value be the same as what I paid for it a year ago?
  8. When will I be notified of the value of my property?
  9. How can I determine whether or not the appraisal of my home is accurate?
  10. What can I do if I believe the value of my home is incorrect?
Assessment Appeals
  1. To appeal or not to appeal?
  2. Is there help available?
  3. How do I file an appeal?
  4. What happens after I appeal?
  5. How do I prepare an appeal?
  6. What if I don't like the value the Board determines?
  7. Can I go straight to the State Board and not present an appeal to the Sumner County Board of Equalization?
Property Exemptions
  1. What types of organizations are eligible for exemption from property taxation?
  2. Wouldn't any property owned by a tax-exempt organization be automatically exempted from property taxes?
  3. How does an organization apply for an exemption?
  4. What documents or other material should be provided with the application?
  5. After the exemption is approved, how often is the property owner required to update the record or re-apply?
Greenbelt Program
  1. What is The Agricultural, Forest, and Open Space Act of 1976?
  2. What types of properties are eligible for enrollment in the “Greenbelt” program?
  3. How do I apply for Greenbelt?
  4. What are “Rollback Taxes”?
Mobile Homes
  1. Are mobile homes taxable property in Tennessee?
  2. If a mobile home is located in a mobile home park, who is responsible for paying the taxes, the homeowner or the park owner?
  3. Are active duty military personnel required to pay property taxes on their mobile homes?
  4. What responsibility does the owner of a Mobile Home Park have in reporting improvements (mobile homes) on their property?
  5. Why is the value listed in the assessor's office different than what I paid for the mobile home?
Tangible Personal Property
  1. Who has to file a Tangible Personal Property Schedule?
  2. What is considered "tangible personal property" under the law?
  3. What if I'm a very small business and don't have an accounting staff?
  4. What happens if I don't file the schedule by March 1?
  5. Will I be audited?
  6. How will I know if my assessment is changed?
Periodic Reappraisal
  1. Why is Reappraisal necessary?
  2. How are Reappraisal values established?
  3. How does the general maintenance of property affect reappraisal values?
  4. How does structural damage affect reappraisal value?
  5. What if Property Owners disagree with their reappraisal values?
  6. What is Market Value?

Where can I find information on property tax sales?
For information on property tax sales please see the Clerk and Masters office.This site will have all information on available tax sales in the county.
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Why is property taxed in Tennessee?
Article II Section 28 of the Tennessee Constitution states: "…all property real, personal or mixed shall be subject to taxation…" Your property tax dollars are used by city, county, and state governments to provide funding for roads, parks, fire and police protection, public schools, and many other local services.
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What does the assessor do?
The assessor of property has the duty of determining the value and classification of all property except public utility property which is valued by the State of Tennessee, Comptroller of the Treasury, Office of State Assessed Properties. The assessor estimates only the value of your property and the County Commission determines the appropriate tax rate to fund the county budget.
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Will the value of my property change every year?
Pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated Section 67-5-1601 reappraisal must be completed either in a four, five, or six-year cycle. Sumner County is on a 5-year reappraisal cycle. The next reappraisal is scheduled for 2024. Normally, the value placed on a property during the year of a reappraisal remains undisturbed until the next reappraisal unless the value is changed on appeal or corrected for physical characteristics such as the addition or deletion of an improvement or land.
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How is my home appraised for property tax purposes?
The assessor appraises your home at "market value". Market value is the amount of money a well-informed buyer would pay and a well-informed seller would accept for property in an open and competitive market, without any outside influence.
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How does the assessor determine market value?
The assessor's office collects sales data from all real estate transactions in Sumner County and processes these into appraisal models that assist in the evaluation of all real property.
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Does the assessor visit my property?
All properties within Sumner County Assessor of Property County are visited by a member of the assessor's staff who performs an exterior inspection of the property between reappraisal years. Example: The last reappraisal was in 2019. Prior to the next reappraisal scheduled for 2024 all properties will be visually inspected at least from the exterior. The assessor's office also visits and inspects the interior of properties when necessary, or upon invitation by the taxpayer.
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If I bought my house last year, shouldn't the value be the same as what I paid for it a year ago?
The sale by itself doesn't necessarily indicate market value. However, factors such as the date of sale versus the date of appraisal (which is January 1 of the tax year), other comparable sales within the subject neighborhood, etc., will be evaluated along with the sale of your property in making a final determination.
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When will I be notified of the value of my property?
The assessor's office is required to notify you of any change in the value or classification of your property. As stated above, if the property is unchanged between reappraisal years there will be no need for notice, however, if you should change the physical characteristics or use of the property a notice of assessment change will be sent to you in May of the tax year the change is made.
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How can I determine whether or not the appraisal of my home is accurate?
You can compare your home to others with similar characteristics within your neighborhood and/or have an appraisal completed by a licensed real estate appraiser.
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What can I do if I believe the value of my home is incorrect?
If you believe your value is incorrect after exercising the above steps, you may contact the assessor's office to request a review. If you are not satisfied with the results of that review, you may appeal your property to the Sumner County Board of Equalization which meets in June of each tax year.
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To appeal or not to appeal?
Before making your decision to appeal your property value to this office, be sure and compare your property to others in your neighborhood to see if they are appraised uniformly. Also, you may know of properties that have sold that you can compare their sale prices to your property. Be sure to note any physical or zoning changes that may affect the value of your property as it compares to the sales.
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Is there help available?
Our office is willing to listen to your concerns and will be happy to advise you of the proper course of action. If after discussing your property with you we discover we have made an error, we will correct that error and make a recommendation to the appropriate parties. In addition to this office, there are professional property tax representatives who are registered with the State Board of Equalization who may be able to assist you.
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How do I file an appeal?
You may contact this office the first week of May of each tax year to schedule an appeal to the Sumner County Board of Equalization.
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What happens after I appeal?
You will receive a notice of any action made by the assessor or Sumner County Board of Equalization.
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How do I prepare an appeal?
If you feel aggrieved by your valuation or classification, you may assemble all documentation that supports your conclusion of value that is different from the assessor.
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What if I don't like the value the Board determines?
You may appeal the Board's decision to the State Board of Equalization before August 1 for the tax year or within forty-five days of the date the notice of local board action was sent, whichever is later.
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Can I go straight to the State Board and not present an appeal to the Sumner County Board of Equalization?
You must first appeal to the Sumner County Board of Equalization. This is the first level of administrative appeal.
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What types of organizations are eligible for exemption from property taxation?
Religious, charitable, scientific, or nonprofit educational institutions may apply to have property owned by that organization exempt from property taxes if the property is currently being used exclusively to carry out one or more of the purposes for which the organization was created. This can include allowing another exempt institution to use the property for a purpose for which that organization was created, provided the owning institution receives no more than one dollar ($1.00) in rent per year (the owner may receive a reasonable fee for maintenance and service). The three key provisions are:

  1. Owned by a religious, charitable, scientific, or educational institution.
  2. Currently being used for a purpose for which that organization exists.
  3. The owning organization must apply to the State Board of Equalization and receive approval in writing.

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Wouldn't any property owned by a tax-exempt organization be automatically exempted from property taxes?
Not necessarily. The primary consideration is “current use”. For example, if a church buys a vacant site with the intention of building a new church there in the future, the property would not be able to be exempted until the new building is completed and ready for use. And even then, if the site were several acres in size and only a portion of the land was being used for the actual church buildings, parking lots, athletic fields, etc., the excess land may still be taxable until it also is put to a use that would warrant exemption.
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How does an organization apply for an exemption?
Exemption application forms and instructions for completing them are available in the Assessor of Property Office. After the form is filled out by the requesting institution, one copy is filed with the State Board of Equalization for a decision and the other is filed with the Assessor of Property. All applications and supporting documentation should be filed by May 20th of the tax year for which the exemption is being sought. A separate application must be filled out for each parcel of property being requested for consideration.
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What documents or other material should be provided with the application?
Copies of the following documents should accompany the organization's application to the State Board, as well as the copy filed with the Assessor:

  • Deed of Ownership
  • Articles of Incorporation (if applicable)
  • Organization's Bylaws (if applicable)
  • I.R.S. Tax Exempt Letter
  • Income and Expense Statement or I.R.S. Information Return
  • Photograph(s) of the property

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After the exemption is approved, how often is the property owner required to update the record or re-apply?
Once an exemption is approved it is not necessary to reapply each year. If there are changes, however, in the ownership or use of the property which might affect the property's exempt status, it is the organization's responsibility to promptly notify both the Assessor of Property and the State Board of Equalization.
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What is The Agricultural, Forest, and Open Space Act of 1976?
More commonly referred to as the “Greenbelt Law”, it is tax law enacted by the state legislature to encourage the retention of green spaces around urban areas and to prevent the loss of family farms due to property taxes based on development speculation values, rather than the current use.
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What types of properties are eligible for enrollment in the “Greenbelt” program?
There are 3 types of land that may qualify for greenbelt classification:

  1. Agricultural Land: a tract of at least 15 acres that is currently engaged in farming (i.e. the production or growing of crops, plants, animals, nursery, or floral products). A tract that is smaller than 15 acres, but is at least 10 acres can qualify for greenbelt if the owner has at least 1 tract in the program that meets the minimum 15-acre qualification. The current test of farm use is a property's ability to generate an average annual income of at least $1,500 over any 3-year period. Property can also qualify, regardless of income, if you, your parent, or your spouse has farmed the property for at least 25 years, you continue to live on the property, and the property is not currently used for a purpose inconsistent with farming.
  2. Forest Land: a tract of at least 15 acres engaged in growing trees under a sound program of sustained yield management or having tree growth in such quantity and quality as to be managed as a forest.
  3. Open Space Land: a tract of at least 3 acres maintained in an open or natural condition for public enjoyment and use.

Note: With all three classes, the law limits an owner's qualification to 1500 acres in any given county.
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How do I apply for Greenbelt?
All necessary forms are available at the Assessor of Property's office. The application, including a certification from the owner about the property's use, can be filled out and approved during a short office visit. After approval, the property owner is responsible for recording the application at the County Register of Deeds. Once enrolled, the owner is not required to re-apply each year, but is required by law to promptly notify the assessor of any change in the use or ownership of the property which would affect its Greenbelt eligibility.
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What are “Rollback Taxes”?
When a property that has been assessed as Greenbelt becomes disqualified for any of the following reasons:

  • size of tract or use no longer meet qualifications
  • the owner requests in writing to withdraw
  • the property is covered by a recorded subdivision plat unless the owner can still prove farm use
  • property is sold and converted to other use the owner may be liable to pay what are referred to as “rollback” taxes on the property. “Rollback” is simply the difference between the Greenbelt assessment and the market value assessment that would have been applied if the property had not been in the program. In effect, it is paying back the tax savings the owner enjoyed under greenbelt. For Agricultural and Forest properties the rollback period is 3 years (the current year and the 2 preceding years), for Open Space property the rollback is 5 years. If only a portion of the property is sold or converted to a non-qualifying use, rollback is only assessed on that portion, as long as the remainder of the property still qualifies. Rollback assessments are made on the next tax roll after the property no longer qualifies for greenbelt. An owner should fully understand “rollback” before applying for the Greenbelt program.

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Are mobile homes taxable properties in Tennessee?
Yes, under Tennessee Law mobile homes are assessed as real property, as an improvement to the land where that mobile home is located. This can be on property owned by the mobile home owner, or on a lot or pad in a mobile home park where the owner is renting or leasing a space. A key date to remember is January 1st, which is the statutory "date of assessment".Because a mobile home by definition is "moveable", the possibility exists that it could be located in more than one jurisdiction during any given year. To prevent it from being assessed for taxes more than once, a mobile home is assessed in the county where it is physically located on January 1st, no matter how long it remains on site after that date.
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If a mobile home is located in a mobile home park, who is responsible for paying the taxes, the homeowner or the park owner?
The mobile homeowner. Because the mobile home is assessed as an improvement to their property, the mobile home park owner will receive a tax bill that includes the taxes for all mobile homes in their park. However, the mobile homeowner is responsible for paying the taxes attributed to their mobile home. At the park owner's discretion, this can be done in a lump sum or included in the monthly collection of any rents or dues.
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Are active duty military personnel required to pay property taxes on their mobile homes?
Mobile homes owned by non-resident active duty service personnel in Tennessee on military orders are considered “personal property” in accordance with the Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act, and therefore are exempt.
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What responsibility does the owner of a Mobile Home Park have in reporting improvements (mobile homes) on their property?
In December of each year, the Assessor of Property furnishes each mobile home park owner in the county with a report to list all mobile homes located in their park as of 1 January. It is the duty of the mobile home park owner to correctly list each mobile home by make, model, size, original cost, etc., and return that report, along with certification of any military exemptions to the assessor's office no later than 1 April.
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Why is the value listed in the assessor's office different than what I paid for the mobile home?
While the purchase price can be one indicator of value for a particular mobile home, the amount paid does not necessarily equal the market value. Considerations such as repossessions, sale prices and discounts, family sales, and sales where land or furnishings are involved, often make the purchase price unreliable as the fair market value of a mobile home. The assessor's office is responsible for equalizing values and making uniform assessments of all mobile homes in the jurisdiction. The values assigned for tax purposes are developed using uniform standards for quality, size, and depreciation. If a mobile home is properly listed (age, size, etc.), the results will closely approximate the current market value, but more importantly for tax purposes, they will ensure a fair and equal assessment for every taxpayer who owns a similar mobile home.
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Who has to file a Tangible Personal Property Schedule?
Every business owner in Tennessee, whether incorporated or not, is required to file the schedule annually with the Assessor of Property for the county in which the business is located.
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What is considered "tangible personal property" under the law?
Just about any tangible property not considered to be real estate falls under the definition.If you have any questions about whether an asset fits the description, contact this office.
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What if I'm a very small business and don't have an accounting staff?
All businesses are required to use the Schedule B form. There is an option to check the SMALL ACCOUNTS CERTIFICATIONS. By checking this you certify that the total depreciated value of your property (all groups) is $1,000.00 or less.
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What happens if I don't file the schedule by March 1?
The law requires the Assessor's Office to place a value on your tangible personal property, which may be higher than you would have reported. Your only appeal route then is through the Sumner County Board of Equalization. You also may be assessed a penalty for failing to report.
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Will I be audited?
Every business owner is subject to selection for audit. A member of the Assessor's staff reviews each completed form, and where necessary, work with the business owner to obtain accurate reporting. Audit methods vary, generally based on the size and type of business involved. An inspection of the business premises may be required, or a detailed examination of records of purchases may be needed. You can help by doing the most thorough job possible when you complete the schedule.
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How will I know if my assessment is changed?
We will send you an Assessment Notice in May, indicating any changes in your assessment. If you disagree with the changes, you should contact our office to request a review. As in the case of realty assessments, you should prepare to provide any documentation you have to support your case. If you still don't agree with the Assessor's Office action, you may file an appeal to the Board of Equalization, which begins its meetings in June.
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Why is reappraisal necessary?
Reappraisal eliminates inequities that are created over time by changes in the real estate market, ensuring fairness and equity for all property owners. A property's market value can increase or decrease. If the Assessor's record of a property's market value does not change with the market, some people could pay too much in property taxes, while others could pay too little. That's why the Sumner County Assessor is required to conduct reappraisals every five years. Reappraisals allow the Assessor to adjust property values so that every property in Sumner County is appraised at market value. The last reappraisal occurred in 2019. Between reappraisal cycles, the Assessor's staff:

  • Visually inspects all property in Sumner County so that the Assessor's assessment records reflect each property's actual characteristics, such as square footage, story height, exterior wall type, garage, carport, and detached buildings.
  • Verifies all property transfers as they occur in the marketplace. Appraisers verify each sale in order to ensure it is an arms-length transaction. These verified sales are recorded in the sales file to compare to properties of similar size, age, location, and description to help establish fair and equitable property values.
State law protects property owners during reappraisal years: State law also protects property owners from paying more than their fair share of property tax because a reappraisal has occurred. It provides for adjusting the tax rate to a level that would bring in the same amount of revenue as before reappraisal, excluding new construction. This is called the Certified Tax Rate, and it prevents local governments from experiencing a financial "windfall" in reappraisal years at the expense of the property owners.
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How are reappraisal values established?
The 2019 reappraisal is like a snapshot of Sumner County as of January 1, 2019. Reappraisal values are based on these key factors:

  • The property's use (such as home, business, vacant land, etc.)
  • The property's characteristics
    • Location
    • Square footage (total living area)
    • Quality of construction
    • Amenities (such as bathroom count, garage, carport, vaulted ceilings, etc.)
  • Current market conditions (determined by sales in the immediate area over the past three years)
To determine the market value of a property, a team of skilled and professionally trained appraisers:
  • Visually inspects all properties to ensure that the Assessor's records reflect actual characteristics.
  • Reviews and verifies market sales, cost, and income data according to accepted appraisal practices.
  • Completes market analyses using the CAMA (computer-assisted mass appraisal) system, comparing properties of similar size, age, location, and description.
  • Establishes reappraisal values that reflect current market conditions as of January 1.
Then reappraisal notices are mailed to every property owner in Sumner County. It is important to remember that buyers and sellers in the marketplace establish market value, not the Assessor. The Assessor compares these verified sales to properties of similar size, age, location, and description to complete the evaluation process. This ensures that property values reflect current market conditions as of January 1.
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How does the general maintenance of property affect reappraisal value?
The reappraisal value is not affected by the general maintenance of the property. Repairs such as a new roof, fresh interior/exterior paint, or landscaping neither add to nor detract from the value in the Assessor's records. While these types of repairs can be costly, they are considered to be normal maintenance expenses that all properties incur over time.
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How does structural damage affect reappraisal value?
When structural damage causes a property to be structurally unsound, the reappraisal value may be affected. A field inspection of the property is required to determine the extent of the impact.
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What if property owners disagree with their reappraisal values?
A team of appraisers makes every effort to ensure that all unique characteristics of a property are considered in establishing market value. When property owners have a concern regarding their appraisal or classification and do not agree with the Assessor's value, they should request an Informal Review. The Informal Review is NOT an appeal. It is an opportunity for property owners to share information with the Assessor's Office in order for their property values to reflect market value. There are three ways to initiate an Informal Review:

  1. Complete the Online Form. This is the fastest and most convenient way to initiate an informal review.
  2. Call the Assessor's Office at 615-452-2412
  3. Visit the Assessor's Office.
To assist in the Informal Review, property owners should submit documentation that supports their opinion of the value of the property in question. Examples of such documentation include:
  • Sales prices of similar properties in the immediate area within the last three years.
  • Recent private appraisal.
  • Photos of the property.
  • Any other information the property owner believes will assist appraisers in analyzing the property's market value.
Use our online form and The Assessor's Office will contact you regarding the results of our informal review. For those property owners who disagree with the results of their informal review they may appeal to the Sumner County Board of Equalization, the appeals process is described below:
  1. Sumner County Board of Equalization: The Board of Equalization is an independent body that meets beginning June 1. Failure to file an appeal could result in the assessment becoming final without further right of appeal.
  2. State Board of Equalization (SBoE): If property owners disagree with the Sumner County Board of Equalization's resolution, they may appeal to the SBoE, which meets as needed in Sumner County.

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What is Market Value?
"Market Value" is defined as the most probable price, as of a specified date, in cash, or in terms equivalent to cash, or in other precisely revealed terms for which the specified property rights should sell after reasonable exposure in a competitive market under all conditions requisite to a fair sale, with the buyer and seller each acting prudently, knowledgeably, and for self-interest, and assuming that neither is under undue duress. As you can see from the definition above, "market value" is a theoretical concept. Many sales occur at prices other than the "market value." Often the sale price is adjusted because of time pressures on the buyer or seller. Other factors that affect sale prices include owner-held mortgages and property transfers within families.
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Information

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