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
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
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:
- Carefully examine, compare and equalize the county assessments;
- Assure that all taxable properties are included on the assessment lists;
- Eliminate from the assessment lists such property as is lawfully exempt from taxation;
- Hear complaints of taxpayers who feel aggrieved on account of excessive assessments of their property;
- Decrease the assessments of such properties as the board determines have been excessively assessed;
- 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;
- Correct such errors arising from clerical mistakes or otherwise that may come or be brought to the attention of the board; and
- 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.
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
Local Board of Equalization
Administrative Law Judge
Assessment Appeals Commission
State Board of Equalization
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.
Content under development
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:
- “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
- “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:
- APPRAISED VALUE
- ASSESSMENT RATIO
- ASSESSED VALUE
- 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.
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)
($25,000 x .02262 = $1,131.00)
for a tax bill of $1,131.00