The Dreaded Reappraisal
|Every four years, Loudon County property owners are
faced with what some of us have come to fear, property reappraisals.
This is the process whereby the state takes all kinds of information
pertaining to our county sticks it in a computer and comes up with new
values for our property. On the one hand, higher property values can be
a good thing when you are hoping your investment will appreciate. On the
other hand, higher property values can mean higher taxes. It's a two
Given the current down turn in the real-estate market we might think our property values might go down this time but that's not the case. In a press release from Loudon County Property Assessor, Chuck Jenkins, the process of the reappraisal is explained and why most of us will see our property values go up even though property prices have gone down.
Higher property appraisals do not automatically mean higher property taxes. In fact state law prohibits local government from raising property taxes simply due to reappraisals. The only way your property taxes go up is if commission or city council raises the tax rate.
So we really don't have to fear reappraisals, particularly not from an officeholder who's proven to be trustworthy; all we have to worry about are our commissioners and city councilmen raising the tax rates.
For more detailed information on the 2009 reappraisal, see the release below from Chuck Jenkins.
2009 Reappraisal Underway
LOUDON, TN, Jan. 26, 2009 -- Loudon County’s 2009 reappraisal is under way and county property owners will be receiving appraisal change notices in the mail this spring. The state-mandated reappraisal is conducted on a four-year cycle, the last one coming in 2005.
“With the national real estate market in the doldrums, many have wondered how it has impacted values locally and how that will be reflected in the reappraisal,” said Property Assessor Chuck Jenkins. “The sales data show that while sales volume has slowed tremendously in Loudon County, as elsewhere, Loudon County sale prices have held fairly steady over the past year. For reappraisal purposes, most values will be higher than they were prior to the 2005 reappraisal year,” Jenkins added.
Residential appraised values are derived using the market approach, and state law requires that property be reappraised at 100 percent of market value. The current reappraisal is based on 2008 sales with supporting data while the 2005 appraisal was based on 2004 sales and data.
“It’s simply the difference in market values as of Jan. 1, 2009 versus Jan. 1, 2005,” Jenkins added. “While everyone’s focus has been on what’s happened to the market recently, folks need to keep in mind the big run-up in values from 2005 through 2006. Locally, we see values remaining flat since about the second half of 2007.”
In terms of individual property taxes, higher reappraisals must be offset by what’s known as a Certified Tax Rate. The CTR ensures that reappraisals are “revenue neutral” and not used to generate additional tax revenue for the government. Typically the CTR is considerably lower than the current tax rate.
County Commission may adopt the CTR, as calculated by the State Board of Equalization. Or, if budget needs exceed the current levy, Commission may increase the rate; if so, they must treat it the same as a regular tax rate increase, with all the requisite public hearings and notices. The two cities that have property taxes, Loudon and Lenoir City, face similar requirements.
“Taxpayers should keep in mind that higher appraisals don’t in themselves mean your taxes will go up,” said Jenkins. “It is up to the elected bodies to decide what the rates will be, and thus the amount of taxes you’ll pay.”
“The bottom line is that values are up since 2005, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. And, in terms of future tax bills, it’s certainly not a cause for alarm, thanks to the Certified Tax Rate provision. As always my office is ready and willing to work with anyone who has questions or concerns about his or her reappraisal value.”
The phone number for the assessor’s office is 458-2050, and since call volume will be higher than usual, Jenkins ask that callers be patient. For additional information about the 2009 reappraisal, taxpayers may visit the assessor’s web site at www.loudoncountyassessor.org.