Resources

Assessment Fact Sheet

Assessment vs. Taxation – Separation of Duties

  • Assessment function is distinct from taxation function
  • Assessor of Property appraises and classifies the property and then applies the statutory percentages to appraisals to determine assessments
  • The Sumner County Board of Commissioners or County Commission and city governing bodies determine local property tax rates
  • Taxes are collected by county Trustee and city collecting officials

The Assessment Function

The Assessor

  • Appraises real estate for assessment purposes
  • Tracks changes in ownership, addresses, and property boundaries
  • Is required by state law to verify certain information on real estate sales with buyer or seller
  • Appraises and assesses business personal property (furniture, fixtures, machinery, and equipment)
  • Responds to requests for public information
  • Must possess both appraisal and administrative skills to do the job

The State

  • State Board of Equalization establishes policies and procedures for local Assessors of Property and hears property appeals beyond the county level
  • Division of Property Assessments (a division of the Comptroller of the Treasury) monitors the work of Assessors to ensure proper procedures are followed, provides technical assistance during reappraisal programs, and provides manuals and educational programs for use by Assessors

The Assessment Cycle

  • Property appraisals are established during periodic reappraisal programs using current real estate values on either a 6-year, 5-year, or 4-year cycle. Sumner County is currently on a 5-year reappraisal cycle with the next reappraisal in 2019.
  • Between reappraisals, the Assessor’s appraisals generally remain constant, with the exception of instances where the property has changed (new buildings, additions, demolitions, etc.)
  • In addition to assessing new construction annually, the Assessor’s office performs a systematic field review of a portion of the county each year so that during a reappraisal cycle all parcels of property are reviewed
  • Changes to the property discovered during the review may be added to, or subtracted from the property value between reappraisals, but with the appraised value based on the previous reappraisal program

The Appraisal Process

  • An appraisal is an estimate of the most probable selling price of a property
  • Mass appraisal techniques are employed
  • Physical characteristics listed (dimensions, construction type, age and condition of buildings; size and features of land)
  • Computer resources used as a tool to assist in the intensive analyses and calculations required
  • Assessor’s experience and appraisal judgment are important

The Assessment Process

Property is classified based on its use and statutory assessment percentages are applied to appraised values
Residential property 25%
Farm property 25%
Commercial and industrial property 40%
Public utility property 55%
Business personal property 30%

  • Example: A residence appraised at $ 100,000 would have an assessed value of $25,000
  • Assessment Change Notice required to be sent when the value or classification changes

Appeals

  • Basis for an appeal: property value, inconsistency with comparable properties, incorrect classification (taxes are not a valid basis for appeal)
  • Steps in an appeal: informal discussion with Assessor, County Board of Equalization (meets beginning June 1), State Board of Equalization (must first appeal to county board), Chancery Court

The Taxation Function

  • Property tax rate is established by the County Commission and city governing bodies
  • Assessor provides assessed value totals to county and city governing bodies
  • Total assessment and estimates of other revenue are combined with budget projections to determine the property tax rate
  • In a reappraisal year, if the local governing body intends to adopt a tax rate that would generate more revenue than the previous year, a public hearing must be advertised and held

Conclusion

  • Separation of the assessment function from the taxation function protects property owners from possible unfair treatment
  • The Assessor’s job is increasingly demanding in terms of the skills and professionalism required
  • The level of knowledge and detail required to appraise property for assessment purposes has dramatically increased
  • Greater detail in appraisals results in a more equitable situation for property owners

Sumner County GIS

We currently partner with GeoJobe to develop and host our GIS Enterprise System and public site. You can access the site here.

Sumner County GIS Enterprise Committee

Under Development

GIS Overview

Drawbacks

  • No Connectivity
  • No Data Sharing
  • No Cost Sharing
  • Data between agencies is

GIS Benefits

  • A uniform repository for geographic data. All geographic data is centrally stored and managed in one database
  • Significantly reduce data redundancy
  • Improve accuracy and integrity of geographic information
  • Efficient and timely data sharing
  • Reduce overall GIS maintenance and support costs
  • Access up-to-date GIS data at all times
  • Improve communication between departments relative to GIS data/issues
  • The development of closer communication and collaboration with various County and City agencies
    • This proves to be extremely productive in opening the lines of communication that may have been previously limited.

GIS Stages of Implementation

  • Requirements Stage
    • User Needs Analysis
      • General User Survey (completed)
      • Current Hardware/Software Analysis (partial completion)
      • GIS Data Use and Requirements (partial completion)
        • Locate all GIS Information available
        • Identify all GIS Departments and Users since the General Survey
    • User Workflow Analysis
      • Identify GIS User types
        • ArcGIS Desktops
        • Web Services
        • Concurrent Batch Processes (editing, etc.)
    • Network Suitability Analysis
      • Local Area Network
      • Wide Area Network
    • System Architecture Design Suggestions
  • Design
  • Construction
  • Implementation

Assessment Calendar

DATE

ACTION / ACTIVITY / DEADLINE

JANUARY 1

Assessment Date - ownership, assessments and tax maps for the year are to reflect their status as of this date. (TCA 67-5-502)

JANUARY 15 - 31

Division of State Assessed Properties mails Ad Valorem Tax Questionnaire to all motor carriers newly added to the state’s single state registration system.

JANUARY

Trustee publishes for two consecutive weeks notice of intent to file suit for delinquent taxes. (TCA 67-5-2401)

FEBRUARY 1

Deadline for Assessor to mail Personal Property Schedules to businesses. (TCA 67-5-903)

Deadline for property owners to submit to Assessor materials costs for incomplete improvements as of January 1. (TCA 67-5-603)

FEBRUARY 1 - 10

Division of State Assessed Properties mails Ad Valorem Tax Report Forms to all centrally assessed utilities and companies.

FEBRUARY 28

Deadline to pay preceding year’s property taxes without penalty or interest. (TCA 67-5-2010)

MARCH 1

Delinquency date for preceding year’s property taxes. (TCA 67-5-2010)

Deadline for businesses to file Personal Property Schedules with Assessor. (TCA 67-5-903)

Deadline for Assessor to furnish Mobile Home Schedules to mobile home park owners. (TCA 67-5-802)

Deadline for property owners to apply for greenbelt classification (agricultural, forest or open space land). (TCA 67-5-1006)

Deadline to initiate correction of error for preceding year’s taxes. (TCA 67-5-509)

Last date the State Board of Equalization can accept a late appeal from the previous tax year delayed for reasonable cause. (TCA 67-5-1412)

Deadline to appeal to State Board of Equalization regarding liability for rollback taxes for immediate preceding year. (TCA 67-5-1008)

APRIL 1

Deadline for Trustee to deliver delinquent list showing all unpaid land taxes to delinquent tax attorney. May occur between February 1 and April 1. (TCA 67-5-2404)

Deadline for delinquent tax attorney to file suit to collect unpaid taxes. May occur between February 1 and April 1. (TCA 67-5-2405)

Deadline for municipalities to certify delinquent taxes for the second preceding year to the county Trustee if they use the county Trustee or the delinquent tax attorney to collect delinquent real property taxes. (TCA 67-5-2005)

Deadline for centrally assessed utilities and companies to file Ad Valorem Tax Reports with Division of State Assessed Properties. (TCA 67-5-1303)

Deadline for Mobile Home Schedules to be filed with the Assessor by mobile home park owners. (TCA 67-5-802)

Bar to collection after 10 years following the year in which taxes became delinquent. (TCA 67-5-1806)

APRIL 5

Deadline for eligible property owners to apply for property tax relief. (TCA 67-5-701)

APRIL 20

Deadline for owners of certain low cost housing for elderly to supply information to the Assessor regarding the percentage of low income residents as of January 1. (TCA 67-5-207)

MAY 20

Deadline for Assessor to complete assessments and mail assessment change notices. (TCA 67-5-508) Note - If a municipality has collection dates different from the county, assessments for the city must be completed not less than forty (40) days prior to the beginning tax due date of the municipality. (TCA 67-5-504)

Deadline for Assessor to publish notice regarding public inspection of assessment records and appeal to the County Board of Equalization. (TCA 67-5-508)

Deadline for religious, charitable, scientific, and educational institutions to apply for exemption. (TCA 67-5-212)

JUNE 1

County Board of Equalization session begins. Length of session varies based on county population. (TCA 67-1-404)

JUNE 30

Deadline for collecting officials to submit tax relief applications and credit vouchers for preceding tax year to Division of Property Assessments. (TCA 67-5-701)

JUNE - JULY

Trustee prepares list of parcels for which property taxes are delinquent as of June 1 for purposes of producing delinquent tax notices. (TCA 67-5-2402)

JUNE 1 TO JULY 1

Court clerk to provide Trustee with list of property involved in collection suits. (TCA 67-5-2403)

JULY 1

Assessor furnishes schedule of assessed value for each mobile home to mobile home park owners. (TCA 67-5-802)

JULY

Tax rates generally set by counties.

Division of State Assessed Properties finalizes utility assessments and prepares for Comptroller hearings.

Trustee presents report to the county legislative body at July meeting of all delinquent taxpayers and double assessments in the county. (TCA 67-5-1903)

AUGUST 1

General deadline for appeals to State Board of Equalization, or within forty-five days of the date that the notice of County Board action was sent. (TCA 67-5-1412)

AUGUST (first Monday)

Deadline for Division of State Assessed Properties to complete all utility assessments and send notice of assessment to each centrally assessed company. (TCA 67-5-1327) Exceptions to these assessments must be filed within ten (10) days. Hearings will be held during August for any exceptions filed.

AUGUST (second Monday)

Annual meeting of State Board of Equalization (other meetings as called throughout the year). (TCA 67-1-301)

SEPTEMBER 1

Deadline for filing an amended Personal Property Schedule from the previous tax year. (TCA 67-5-903)

Last day for new construction to be completed in order to prorate assessment for current tax year. (TCA 67-5-603)

Last day for moved, destroyed or damaged improvements to be repaired or replaced in order to preclude proration of assessment for current tax year. (TCA 67-5-603)

Deadline to initiate back assessment or reassessment (for 1 year generally; 3 years if there is failure to file, fraud or collusion). (TCA 67-1-1005)

SEPTEMBER (first Monday)

Deadline for Comptroller to file with State Board of Equalization assessments for centrally assessed utilities and companies. Notice shall also be sent to any person or entity filing an exception to the assessment. (TCA 67-5-1327)

Deadline for Trustee's final accounting and settlement for the year ended June 30. (TCA 67-5-1902)

OCTOBER (first Monday)

Current year’s property taxes become due and payable (some municipalities may differ). (TCA 67-1-701 and 67-1-702)

Statutory deadline for Assessor to present tax rolls to Trustee. (TCA 67-5-807)

OCTOBER (third Monday

Deadline for State Board of Equalization to certify to Comptroller assessments for centrally assessed properties. (TCA 67-5-1329)

OCTOBER - DECEMBER

Division of State Assessed Properties prepares and finalizes the Certification of Assessments to counties and cities.

Real Property

Article 2 Section 28 of TN constitution. Taxable property - Valuation - Rates.

In accordance with the following provisions, all property real, personal or mixed shall be subject to taxation, but the Legislature may except such as may be held by the State, by Counties, Cities or Towns, and used exclusively for public or corporation purposes, and such as may be held and used for purposes purely religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational, and shall except the direct product of the soil in the hands of the producer, and his immediate vendee, and the entire amount of money deposited in an individual’s personal or family checking or savings accounts. For purposes of taxation, property shall be classified into three classes, to wit: Real Property, Tangible Personal Property and Intangible Personal Property.

Real Property shall be classified into four (4) sub-classifications and assessed as follows:

  1. Public Utility Property, to be assessed at fifty-five (55%) percent of its value;
  2. Industrial and Commercial Property, to be assessed at forty (40%) percent of its value;
  3. Residential Property, to be assessed at twenty-five (25%) percent of its value, provided that residential property containing two (2) or more rental units is hereby defined as industrial and commercial property; and
  4. Farm Property, to be assessed at twenty-five (25%) percent of its value.

House trailers, mobile homes, and all other similar movable structures used for commercial, industrial, or residential purposes shall be assessed as Real Property as an improvement to the land where located.

The Legislature shall provide, in such manner as it deems appropriate, tax relief to elderly low-income taxpayers through payments by the State to reimburse all or part of the taxes paid by such persons on owner-occupied residential property, but such reimbursement shall not be an obligation imposed, directly or indirectly, upon Counties, Cities, or Towns.

The Legislature may provide tax relief to home owners totally and permanently disabled, irrespective of age, as provided herein for the elderly.

Tangible Personal Property shall be classified into three (3) subclassifications and assessed as follows:

  1. Public Utility Property, to be assessed at fifty-five (55%) percent of its value;
  2. Industrial and Commercial Property, to be assessed at thirty (30%) percent of its value; and
  3. All other Tangible Personal Property, to be assessed at five (5%) percent of its value; provided, however, that the Legislature shall exempt Seven Thousand Five Hundred ($7,500) Dollars worth of such Tangible Personal Property which shall cover personal household goods and furnishings, wearing apparel and other such tangible property in the hands of a taxpayer.

The Legislature shall have power to classify Intangible Personal Property into subclassifications and to establish a ratio of assessment to value in each class or subclass, and shall provide fair and equitable methods of apportionment of the value of same to this State for purposes of taxation. Banks, Insurance Companies, Loan and Investment Companies, Savings and Loan Associations, and all similar financial institutions, shall be assessed and taxed in such manner as the Legislature shall direct; provided that for the year 1973, or until such time as the Legislature may provide otherwise, the ratio of assessment to value of property presently taxed shall remain the same as provided by law for the year 1972; provided further that the taxes imposed upon such financial institutions, and paid by them, shall be in lieu of all taxes on the redeemable or cash value of all of their outstanding shares of capital stock, policies of insurance, customer savings and checking accounts, certificates of deposit, and certificates of investment, by whatever name called, including other intangible corporate property of such financial institutions.

The ratio of assessment to value of property in each class or subclass shall be equal and uniform throughout the State, the value and definition of property in each class or subclass to be ascertained in such manner as the Legislature shall direct. Each respective taxing authority shall apply the same tax rate to all property within its jurisdiction.

The Legislature shall have power to tax merchants, peddlers, and privileges, in such manner as they may from time to time direct, and the Legislature may levy a gross receipts tax on merchants and businesses in lieu of ad valorem taxes on the inventories of merchandise held by such merchants and businesses for sale or exchange. The portion of a Merchant’s Capital used in the purpose of merchandise sold by him to non-residents and sent beyond the State, shall not be taxed at a rate higher than the ad valorem tax on property. The Legislature shall have power to levy a tax upon incomes derived from stocks and bonds that are not taxed ad valorem.

This amendment shall take effect on the first day of January, 1973. [As Amended; Adopted in Convention September 14, 1971; Approved at election August 3, 1972; Amendment approved at election, November 2, 1982.]

67-5-601. General Policy.

(a) The value of all property shall be ascertained from the evidence of its sound, intrinsic and immediate value, for purposes of sale between a willing seller and a willing buyer without consideration of speculative values, and when appropriate, subject to the provisions of the Agricultural, Forest and Open Space Land Act of 1976, codified in part 10 of this chapter.

(b) It is the legislative intent hereby declared that no appraisal hereunder shall be influenced by inflated values resulting from speculative purchases in particular areas in anticipation of uncertain future real estate markets; but all property of every kind shall be appraised according to its sound, intrinsic and immediate economic value which shall be ascertained in accordance with such official assessment manuals as may be promulgated and issued by the state division of property assessments and approved by the state board of equalization p.ursuant to law.

(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:

(A) “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

(B) “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.

(d) The general assembly finds that due to the abundance of limestone, sand and gravel in this state and the difficulty in valuing the contributory interest in limestone, sand and gravel that such contributory interest in limestone, sand and gravel shall be deemed to have no value for property tax purposes. This does not affect the commercial classification of real property used for quarry purposes.

67-5-602. Assessment guided by manuals - Factors for consideration

(a) Except as provided in § 67-5-601(c), in determining the value of all property of every kind, the assessor shall be guided by, and follow the instructions of, the appropriate assessment manuals issued by the division of property assessments and approved by the state board of equalization. In the preparation of the manual, the division of property assessments and the state board of equalization shall consult with the United States forest service and the state forester in establishing the guidelines to be used in determining the value of forestland.

(b) For determining the value of real property, such manuals shall provide for consideration of the following factors:

(1) Location;

(2) Current use;

(3) Whether income bearing or non-income bearing;

(4) Zoning restrictions on use;

(5) Legal restrictions on use;

(6) Availability of water, electricity, gas, sewers, street lighting, and other municipal services;

(7) Inundated wetlands;

(8) Natural productivity of the soil, except that the value of growing crops shall not be added to the value of the land. As used in this subdivision, “crops” includes trees; and

(9) All other factors and evidence of value generally recognized by appraisers as bearing on the sound, intrinsic and immediate economic value at the time of assessment.

(c) (1) For determining the value of industrial, commercial, farm machinery and other personal property, such manuals shall provide for consideration of the following factors:

(A) Current use;

(B) Depreciated value;

(C) Actual value after allowance for obsolescence; and

(D) All other factors and evidence of value generally recognized by appraisers as bearing on the sound, intrinsic and immediate economic value at the time of assessment.

(2) Notwithstanding the foregoing, all farm personal property and also all household and kitchen furniture, tableware, musical instruments, wearing apparel, private passenger motor vehicles, jewelry and other personal property of similar character used in the taxpayer’s own household, together with all intangible property, including bank accounts, of the taxpayer, may be assumed prima facie by the assessor of property to be of a value not in excess of seven thousand five hundred dollars ($7,500) per individual and fifteen thousand dollars ($15,000) for jointly owned property held by husband and wife in the absence of any tax return or schedule to the contrary

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 non-operating 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.

Mobile Homes

content

Personal Property

content

The Law

content

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

What happens after I appeal?
You will receive a notice of any action made by the assessor or Sumner County Board of Equalization.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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

Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.
Back to top

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.

Back to top

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.
Back to top

Resources

  |  Salary to be discussed with applicant