2017 is Reappraisal Time for Marshall County Property Owners
Reappraisal is usually a dreaded word if you are a property owner but a Reappraisal is necessary and mandated by the State of Tennessee. A reappraisal eliminates the inequities created over time by changes in the real estate market, ensuring fairness and equity for all property owners. The last reappraisal for the county occurred in 2012 and Marshall County is set up on a 5-year cycle that means 2017 is a Reappraisal year for property owners. Between Reappraisal cycles the Assessor of Property visually inspects 25% or about 4500 properties each year continually for 4 years until all properties in the county are reviewed. In the 5th year, all new values are determined by using a sales analysis and a verification process with current market data along with the study of new building cost to establish new base rates for the county.
During the review periods, the Assessor looks at building characteristics such as square footage, story height, exterior wall type and overall quality as well as detached out buildings such as carports, garages, barns and farm shops, etc. We also review the topography and geographic factors of the land which include elevation, location, access, soils, land grading, trees and acreage and use. All pertinent information about a property is considered when determining value. With an onsite review and with today’s technology we do our very best to make sure all information on the property record card is accurate.
Marshall County’s housing market has steadily increased over the last four years and we have seen quite a jump in sales over the last couple of years. Buyers are paying more for properties and homes here in the county especially in the north end. This is a direct influence of growth filtering in from neighboring counties like Williamson, Rutherford and Davidson County. It's not uncommon for property owners to see values rise during a reappraisal, that is the way it is suppose to work as properties gain equity. No one wants to lose equity or value and fortunately the market is going good in Marshall County, properties are selling, we are not seeing as many foreclosures and new construction is popping up every day.The current real estate market sets the new values during a Reappraisal, not the Assessor of Property nor does the Assessor set or vote on the county and cities’ tax rates. This is sometimes confused. The Assessor only oversees and administers the changes and makes sure it is done accurate, equal, fair and on time by deadlines required by the State of Tennessee.
One thing property owners should keep in mind in a reappraisal year, if the overall property values for the county goes up the tax rate must come down. State law 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 county wide as before reappraisal, excluding new construction. This is called the certified tax rate, and it prevents local governments from experiencing a financial windfall in a reappraisal year at the expense of property owners. The State Board of Equalization sets the certified tax rate for Marshall County during a reappraisal year. The county commission and city councils vote to accept the new rate. The municipalities do have the option to increase the certified tax rate with justifiable cause, public notice and a public hearing where property owners can speak up about their concerns or wishes. From history, the new certified tax rate is usually accepted and not raised.Therefore, property taxes overall in the county should stay about the same as last year.Depending on several factors of each property individually, some property taxes may go up and some may go down.
There are a couple of things that can help ease a tax payer’s mind. There is an appeal process and it starts with an informal hearing such as a visit, phone call or email to the Assessor for review as soon as the new assessment change notice has been mailed around the 1st of May. Nothing is perfect, mistakes can happen but errors can be corrected. Contact the Assessor immediately if you have concerns or feel your new value is in error. Questions can be answered; concerns can be resolved and errors can be corrected during that time. What property owners do not want to do is wait until they receive their tax bill in October as it will be too late to make corrections for the 2017 tax year.
The property owner also has the right to make an appointment for a formal appeal to the Marshall County Board of Equalization and those meetings will begin June 1st. If a property owner fails to appeal informally or formally before the Assessor and the Equalization Board, the assessment will stand as correct and a tax bill will be issued without change, so make sure you look over your new notice when it is received. My office staff and I are always helpful and willing for a discussion with the tax payer about their property. I want transparency in assessment values, property taxation and the process of reappraisal for tax payers. As Assessor, I make every effort to ensure property values are accurate, fair and equitable for all property owners in Marshall County.
See Important Timeline Below:
April 28th, 2017-Assessment Change Notices mailed
May 1st - 12th, 2017 - Informal Hearings
June 1st - 14th , 2017 Formal Appeals to the Marshall County Board of Equalization
Call the Assessor of Property Office to make an appointment.
Contact Information for Assessor of Property below:
Phone: 931-359-3238 or Fax 931-359-0537
Mail: 3300 Courthouse Annex, Lewisburg, TN 37091