The next “it” city, Nashville, has seen tremendous growth, new neighborhoods, cranes all over downtown and an economic boom. While this is great, it also comes with its own set of problems. The one problem that most of us will see in the mail shortly is the valuation placed on our homes by the Tax Assessor for Metropolitan Nashville-Davidson County.
This April, Davidson County homeowners will start receiving reappraisal notices from the county property assessor’s office. The average property assessment increase in Davidson County is 35%. The increase in property value is great for those who plan on selling their homes, but those who are long-time residents planning to stay will not reap any benefit from the increase.
Luckily, any property owner who believes that the new assessment value regarding their property is incorrect has the right to appeal that assessment. The appeal process has several steps, all of which can result in a decrease, increase, or your property assessment remaining the same. Please note that with every step listed below, time is of the essence, or else you may lose your right to appeal.
Informal Review. The first level is an informal review. In Davidson County, this is typically a meeting with the property assessor’s office and a representative from Metro Legal to determine if the property assessor has made a mistake in the determination of the property value or if there are other factors not taken in to consideration which may have an effect on your property’s value.
Formal Appeal to Board of Equalization. In the event you do not agree with the result of the informal review, you may request a review by the Davidson County Board of Equalization. This is a formal appeal in which you must appear or hire counsel to appear on your behalf. Otherwise, failing to appear will result in the assessment becoming final.
Appeal to State Board of Equalization. The last avenue of appeal is to the Tennessee Board of Equalization. These appeals must be formally filed with the Secretary of State, sworn to and the applicable filing fee must be paid. This must be filed either by August 1 or within 45 days of the notice of the ruling by the State Board. After the hearing in front of the State Board of Equalization a petitioner has fifteen (15) days to petition for reconsideration of their decision.
Lastly, Tennessee case law shows that any undisputed amount of property taxes must be paid in order to pursue the appeal.
If you are looking for assistance with your property assessment appeal, contact Freeman & Fuson.
Michael Wrenn and Blake Bratcher are Associate Attorneys with Freeman & Fuson.