By Anderson County Property Assessor’s Office
The 2015 reappraisal in Anderson County shows an overall drop in total assessments.
“In the past, values have always increased,” Anderson County Property Assessor John K. Alley Jr. said. “I promised a fair and accurate assessment for Anderson County, and I feel that is what I have delivered to the property owners.”
The primary purpose of this article is to explain the reappraisal process and set the guidelines for making an appeal, if desired.
2015 is a reappraisal year for Anderson County.
Counties must reappraise every four, five, or six years. Anderson County is on a five-year reappraisal cycle.
The main purpose of reappraisal is to arrive at current market value for real property throughout the county. Reappraisal is mandated by T.C.A. code 67-5-1601. Reappraisal is used to ensure that residents and businesses are not paying too much or too little taxes based on property values.
Assessment Change Notices were scheduled to be mailed out on Friday, April 24, to more than 37,000 residents that have had a value change in their property.
“This is the first time (I have) seen property values decrease,” Alley said.
The total assessments of Anderson County properties—including homes, farmland, businesses, and industries—has declined 4 percent overall.
Although there is an overall drop in property assessments, not every property will see a decrease. For instance, if sales are up in a particular area versus what they are currently assessed, then there would be an increase, or if someone improved their property, i.e., new improvement or added an addition to that property, then that property would see an increase as well.
But, overall, for the first time, many residents will see a drop in value as sales ratios are not meeting the current assessed values from the 2010 reappraisal.
If you wish to discuss, have questions, or do not agree with your new value, property owners may call the Property Assessor’s Office at (865) 457-6225 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. between April 24 and May 8. Taxpayers can also schedule an appointment to come to the office if needed after this time period.
The local Anderson County Board of Equalization starts meeting June 1 to hear appeals not settled during early phone-in appeals and meetings.
The State Board of Equalization begins 45 days after the local board dismisses.
Reappraisal assessments will primarily be based upon qualified real estate sales from January 1, 2014, to January 1, 2015.
A new certified tax rate will be determined by the executive secretary of the State Board of Equalization. The new certified tax rate will be determined toward the end of the local appeals, typically in July.
Since the total assessment decreased, and in order to ensure the same level of funding for county and city government, the certified tax rate will see an increase. The opposite occurred during the 2010 reappraisal: With values increasing more than 20 percent, there was a decline in the certified tax rate, so there would not be an increase in tax funds.
The new certified tax rate will be adjusted up or down to the point that the taxing jurisdiction will receive the same amount of property tax revenue as it did the previous year, prior to the reappraisal. Jurisdictions cannot use the reappraisal to generate new tax revenue.
Any tax rate different than the certified tax rate, which is determined by the State Board of Equalization, must be approved by the local legislative body, which are city councils for Oak Ridge, Clinton, Norris, Oliver Springs, and Rocky Top, as well as the Anderson County Board of Commissioners.
New greenbelt values are established by the State Board of Equalization. Greenbelt is the Agriculture, Forest, and Open Space Act of 1976 that helps preserve those lands. The new greenbelt values received from the State Board of Equalization will see an increase in greenbelt use values. However, this value is still the lowest assessment for forest, agriculture, and open space land meeting the requirements.
After receiving your Assessment Change Notice, you may call the Property Assessor’s Office at (865) 457-6225 to appeal over the phone if you feel your assessment is too high or too low. If you want to meet in person with someone from the Property Assessor’s Office, you may schedule an appointment at this time as well. Due to the expected high volume of calls and walk-ins, an appointment is recommended. Thank you in advance for your patience.
2015 Reappraisal Time Line
- April 24, 2015—Mail Assessment Change Notices
- April 27-May 8, 2015—Informal hearings by telephone and in person
- May 11, 2015—Begin reviewing appeals
- May 18, 2015—Mail results from informal hearings and appeals
- June 1, 2015—Local Board of Equalization begins meeting for formal appeals
Anderson County Property Assessor
The function of the property assessor is to appraise each parcel of taxable real estate within the county at its market value or a percentage of market value stipulated by statute. The property assessor does not determine the property tax rate or collect any taxes.
Anderson County Commission
It is the duty of the Anderson County Commission to adopt a budget and to appropriate funds for the ensuing fiscal year for all county departments and agencies. The Anderson County Commission is responsible for setting the Anderson County property tax rates.
Oak Ridge, Clinton, Norris, Oliver Springs, and Rocky Top city councils
It is the duty of the City Councils to adopt a budget and appropriate funds for the ensuing fiscal year for all city departments and agencies. The city councils are responsible for setting the city’s property tax rate.
Explanation of Assessment Change Notice
See a copy of a blank 2015 Assessment Change Notice here: Assessment Change Notice 2015.