County reappraisal notices have been sent to property owners

Published 9:36 am Friday, April 22, 2016

Carter County
Property owners in Carter County should soon be receiving a letter in the mail notifying them of their property’s re-appraisal, if they haven’t received their notices already.
The letter, which is titled “Assessment Change Notice,” is not a tax notice, Carter County Assessor of Property Ronnie Taylor said.
“This has nothing to do with taxes,” Taylor said. “This is just a change in the appraisal.”
The appraisal reflects the market value of the property as determined by the Carter County appraisers. This year is a reappraisal year for the County, which means each property in the county is evaluated and appraised based on a number of factors such as previous appraisal rating, any improvements done the property and property sales throughout the county over the previous five years.
State law requires each county to periodically conduct county-wide reappraisals, Taylor said.
“The state allows for four, five or six year cycles,” Taylor said, adding Carter County operates on a five-year reappraisal cycle. “The five-year cycle works best for Carter County.”
While all the properties in the county underwent the reappraisal, Taylor said not a lot changed as far as property values.
“There is very little change as far as increases,” Taylor said. “In the 20 years I’ve been here this is the least it has increased.”
Commercial property values in the county increased, which Taylor said is normal. The appraised value of properties with mobile homes decreased in many cases, he added.
Some property owners saw the appraised value of their homes increase, Taylor said.
“Most of the increases are based on improvements that were made to the property,” he said.
Appraisals on agricultural, farm or open space land designated as “greenbelt” are controlled by the state and not his office, Taylor said. State law allows such properties to be taxed based on its present use rather than its market value.
“That is a program enacted by the state to try to help the farmers out,” he said, adding that many farmers would not be able to afford to pay property taxes based on a traditional appraisal.
To qualify as a greenbelt property, the property must be at least 15 acres of farm land and apply for the designation through the Property Assessor’s Office, Taylor said.
“Years before you had to show a $1,500 profit on the farm, but the state did away with that,” he said.
Taylor said he and his staff will be available to meet with property owners who have questions, concerns or do not agree with the reappraisal they received. He said his staff will work with property owners to try to determine a fair and accurate appraisal for the property.
“If you are still not pleased with your appraisal, you can take it to the County Equalization Board,” Taylor said. The Equalization Board will hold two weeks of hearing contested appraisals beginning on June 1.
If the property owner still feels the appraisal is not correct, he or she can then appeal to the State Board of Equalization.
While the work done by the Assessor of Property’s Office does not set how much a property owner pays in taxes each year, the appraised value of the property does play a role in how much the owner will pay in property tax. Property taxes are determined by applying the local tax rate to the assessment for each property. The rate is determined by each county and city governing body based on its budgetary needs.
State law requires that, in the year of reappraisal, each taxing jurisdiction must establish a tax rate referred to as the “Certified Tax Rate,” which will generate the same total revenue as the previous year, thereby preventing governments from increasing revenues due to a reappraisal. The local governing body may, however, pass a tax increase by adopting a tax rate higher than the certified rate, but a public hearing must be held with the advertised intent of exceeding the certified rate in order for the governing body to set the rate higher.
For more information or questions regarding property reappraisal notices, please contact the Carter County Assessor of Property’s Office at 423-542-1838.

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