What is this property tax letter? 4 things to know.
Tennessee state law mandates a tax appraisal of real property on a county-by-county basis. In Rutherford County, TN the tax appraisal occurs at the minimum allowed interval of 4 years. 2018 is a tax appraisal year; 2022 will be the next. The purpose of the appraisal is to align taxation with actual conditions in order to distribute the tax burden equitably among property owners. Because Rutherford County, TN has seen year over year increases in home values, residents can expect to see an increase in the tax appraised value of their homes. You should receive a letter from the Tax Assessor’s Office explaining your new assessed value every 4 years in Rutherford County.
There are four important things to remember about tax appraisals for home owners, and anyone interested in purchasing a home:
- The tax appraisal value is NOT the market value of the house. Although market conditions affect the tax appraisal, the tax appraisal is not the same thing as a market appraisal as would be conducted when getting a mortgage or home equity loan. The market value of a home is determined by many factors, including its condition, location, and overall market conditions. A mortgage lender will still require an independent market appraisal before approving a loan on a house, and that appraisal will be separate from the tax appraisal. A lenders market appraisal is more in depth and is done in real time, whereas a tax appraisal is based on a broader scope of data and statistical analysis. Your home might sell for even more than the recent tax appraisal.
- Your tax bill may (or may not) change. A value increase does not necessarily mean an increase in your taxes. This depends on both the tax appraisal, and the tax rate. The law requires that local governments conduct public hearings before adopting a property tax rate that generates an increase in taxes during the appraisal year. Also, the overall tax burden is spread across all homeowners. If your property increased in value more than the average property, then you may see a somewhat higher tax bill.
- You can appeal the assessment. If you disagree with the appraisal or the classification of your property, you may contact the Property Assessor’s Office. Here is everyone you will need to contact should you decide to pursue a tax appraisal appeal.
- Assistance is available. If you require assistance in pay your property taxes, or you need to request a freeze of your taxes, or if you are disabled, you may get helpful information from any tax collecting department.
County Trustee: 615-898-7705
Murfreesboro City Recorder & Treasurer: 615-893-5210
Smyrna – County Trustee: 615-459-2553
LaVergne City Tax Department: 615-793-6295
(Please note – LaVergne does not participate in tax freeze at this time)
How is the tax appraisal value established?
The Assessor’s Office collects data for three years, and makes the assessments on the fourth year. The Assessor’s Office calculates the tax appraisal value of your home using all of the data from real estate transactions for the previous three years. The best indicator of value is the market price of similar homes sold in your neighborhood. The Assessor’s Office considers a number of tangible factors, including home size, lot size, year built, and physical location. If you believe the data used is in error, you may appeal the assessment.
The good news
That letter from the Assessor’s Office may have come as a shock to you, I know it did me. However, the bright side is that home values HAVE increased since 4 years ago. That’s good news for every home owner. And take a look at the tax burden map above. Compared to our neighbors in other states, the residents of TN have it easy when it comes to property taxes.
What is the market value of your home? Find out what it will really sell for.
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Aaron Lovett is an incredible full-time full-service Realtor. He’s a rare combination of real estate expert, educator, home renovator, problem solver, and marketing madman. His service area includes Smyrna, Murfreesboro, the remainder of Rutherford county and surrounding areas, including Nashville and Davidson county. He goes “above and beyond” for sellers, buyers, and investors. Aaron has lived in Middle Tennessee for over 20 years. He takes pride in helping home buyers and sellers reach their real estate goals.