Tax Rates Drop

Recently, all the news about the reappraisal  has been the surprising increase in property values. I think most of us, given the current state of the economy, would have thought property values would have gone down. But as we have now learned even though home sales have slowed drastically, those homes selling are actually still selling at relative high prices.

The part of the reappraisal story that hasn't received much press is that the new property tax rates has gone down substantially. Loudon County's current property tax rate is $1.92 per $100 of assessed value. The new rate will be down to $1.57 per $100 of assessed value. That's nearly a 20% decrease in the property tax rate. This is why just because your assessment goes up, it doesn't necessarily mean your taxes will go up.

The law does not allow local governments to collect additional taxes on a reappraisal. That means when property values go up, tax rates must go down. So since Loudon County property values have gone up, our tax rate has come down accordingly. Lenoir City's tax rate fell from $1.30  per $100 of assessed value down to $1.05  per $100 of assessed value. In Loudon the rate fell from $1.11  per $100 of assessed value to $1.02  per $100 of assessed value.

For most of us whether our taxes actually go up will be determined by the county commission and city councils. The new lower tax rate is called "The New Certified Tax Rate." Local officials can, by a vote, adopt "The Certified Tax Rate." In contrast they can also adopt a tax rate higher than "The New Certified Tax Rate." If they do that your property taxes will absolutely go up. Loudon County and City Of Loudon officials usually adopt "The New Certified Tax Rate." The news for Lenoir City property owners is not so good. Lenoir City officials never adopt "The Certified Tax Rate." Historically they use the every four year assessment to stick it to city property owners. It's some times called a "stealth" tax increases. Rather than adopting "The New Certified Tax Rate" Lenoir City officials will keep the current higher rate.

Four years ago, the Lenoir City "New Certified Tax Rate" went down from $1.30 per $100 of assessed value to $1.10 yet city officials left the rate at $1.30. Eight years ago "The New Certified Tax Rate" for LC went down from $1.30 to $1.11 yet city officials left the rate at $1.30. Not adopting the certified tax rate is an automatic tax increase. If history repeats it's self, Lenoir City officials will again not adopt "The New Certified Tax Rate" of $1.05 but will maintain the $1.30 rate all the while telling the citizens they didn't raise taxes. It's called lying to the public.

Anyway, at least there is a little good tax news for those who don't own property in Lenoir City.