Frequently Asked Questions: Assessor of Property
Question: What does the county Property Assessor’s Office do?
Answer: The Property Assessor is required by Tennessee Law to list and value all property for "ad valorem" (according to value) taxation on an assessment roll each year.
Question: How is property assessed?
Answer: For residential properties, appraisers study the sales of homes similar to yours which sold. For commercial and industrial properties, the cost, market and income approaches are considered and for Tangible Personal Property, values are based on the asset information submitted directly by business owners.
Question: I added a room and did the work myself. Will I be assessed on cost of materials?
Answer: No. New construction is assessed at the market value it adds to property.
Question: What is the Market Value?
Answer: Tennessee code defines market value as the amount at which property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of the relevant facts.
Question: How does the Property Assessor determine market value?
Answer: The Property Assessor’s office collects sales data from all real estate transactions in Hamilton County and processes these into appraisal models that assist in the evaluation of all real property.
Question: What is a reappraisal and why is it necessary?
Answer: The State of Tennessee mandates a county-wide reappraisal (TCA 67-5-1601). Reappraisals allow the Property Assessor to adjust property values so that every property in Hamilton County is appraised at fair market value. Reappraisals eliminate the inequities created over time by change in the real estate market, ensuring fairness and equity for all property owners.
Question: How often does the county reappraise?
Answer: Hamilton County is on a four year cycle. The last reappraisal was 2017 with the next being 2021.
Question: If the Property Assessor’s Office didn’t increase my market value why did my taxes increase?
Answer: The County Property Assessor does not establish the amount of property tax due. If the assessed value on your property remained the same as the previous year, the increase in your taxes can be attributed to an increase in tax rates.
Question: Does the Property Assessor’s Office set the levy rates?
Answer: No, the Property Assessor’s office only values the property
Question: I disagree with my value what can I do?
Answer: First review your property information on the Hamilton County Assessor of Property property search tool and sales comparison tool, or contact our office at 423-209-7990 to speak with an appraiser who will go over the information with you. If you are still not satisfied with your value then you can file an appeal with the County Board of Equalization. Please file your informal review and appeals before May 20th. Appeals to the county board are accepted through mid-June (please contact our office for the exact date).
Question: What is Greenbelt?
Answer: Greenbelt is a State program designated for property owners of 15 acres or more. It allows for a reduction in value if the land is used for agricultural or forest purposes.
What happens if...
Question: What happens if I do not file my schedule?
Answer: A forced assessment will be placed on your business if you have not filed your schedule by March 1. You may also be subject to a penalty as provided by state law.
Question: What if I filed my schedule by March 1st, but made an error in reporting assets?
Answer: Taxpayers who file their schedule in a timely manner may amend their personal property return. The amended return must be received on or before September 1st of the following year.
How do I...
Question: I lease equipment for my business, how do I file it?
Answer: You will receive a schedule in January for your business, all leased equipment is to be reported on the back of the schedule and turned in by March 1.
Question: How do I change my mailing address?
Answer: Call our office (423) 209-7300. We would need the name of the property owner and property address. You can fill out this form and send to us.
Question: How do I make an appointment with the County Board of Equalization?
Answer: After requesting an informal review from the Property Assessor’s staff, if you still wish to appeal to the county board you may call our office and request an appeal form. The County Board is in session the month of June. Appeals to the county board are accepted through mid-June – please contact our office for the exact date.
Tangible Personal Property
Question: What's the difference between Real Property and Personal Property?
Answer: Real property is the real estate (buildings & land) while Personal Property is for assets used in a business (furniture & machines)
Question: Who has to report Tangible Personal Property?
Answer: Every business in Tennessee is required to file a schedule annually. This should be filed with the Property Assessor in the county where the business is located.
Question: When is the Tangible Personal Property schedule due?
Answer: The schedule is to be completed, signed and returned to the Property Assessor on or before March 1st of each year.
Question: What is considered to be Tangible Personal Property?
Answer: Tangible Personal Property is considered to be property used or held for use that is in the taxpayer’s business or profession.