Property assessments play a crucial role in the local tax system, determining the amount of property tax that homeowners and businesses in Blount County are required to pay. Taxes are needed to provide services to the citizens of Blount County and are billed and collected annually.
We were pretty shocked to get our new property assessments last year, and that has led to misinformation and poor opinions. Let’s delve into the intricacies of how property assessments work and explore their impact on taxpayers in this picturesque region.
What Are Property Assessments?
Property assessments are the process by which local governments, in this case, Blount County, determine the value of real estate for taxation purposes. The goal of property assessments is to distribute the tax burden fairly among property owners based on the value of their properties.
How Assessments and Taxes Are Completed in Blount County
Assessment Period: Tennessee State law says each county in the state has to do a revenue neutral reappraisal every 4, 5, or 6 years. Property assessments in Blount County occur on the four year cycle. However there is legislation that will be brought up during this current legislative session to change the law where reappraisals are done on a 1, 2, 3, or 4 year cycle. If that legislation passes, Blount County will look at going to a more frequent cycle. During these periods, the county’s Property Assessor’s Office reviews property records and collects data to determine the assessed value of each property.
- The assessment in 2023 was the first new assessment since 2019.
- Data Collection: The assessment process begins with the collection of data on various aspects of a property, including its size, location, age, and condition. This data is used to estimate the property’s market value.
- Market Analysis: Property assessors in Blount County use market analysis to evaluate comparable properties (comps) that have recently sold in the area. By comparing the subject property to these comps, they can estimate its market value.
- Assessment Notices: After the assessment is complete, property owners in Blount County receive an assessment notice that includes the property’s assessed value. The property tax calculation is based on the assessed value of the property set by the Blount County Property Assessor and the tax rates that are established by the County Commission and the City Councils for both the county and cities taxes.
- Tax Calculation: Property taxes are calculated based on the assessed value of the property and the local tax rate. The local tax rate here in Blount County is .0159, meaning that you pay $1.59 for every $100 of assessed, not appraised, value. In the chart below, you will see that the rate dropped last year since being raised in 2015. In Blount County, the county property tax rate is set by the County Commission. In 2023, the cities of Maryville and Alcoa tax rates were .015 and .0169 respectively, and the rates are set by their City Councils. Governments set their rate by analyzing the budgets of taxing entities (i.e. county, municipalities, and school boards) in which the property is located. Some communities have councils or boards of taxation that then strikes the tax rate from the total amount of taxes needed to be collected. Higher assessed values typically result in higher property tax bills.
Blount County Property Tax Rate History
Tax Year Tax Rate
2023 $1.59 for every $100 of assessed value
2022 $2.47 for every $100 of assessed value
2021 $2.47 for every $100 of assessed value
2020 $2.47 for every $100 of assessed value
2019 $2.47 for every $100 of assessed value
2018 $2.47 for every $100 of assessed value
2017 $2.47 for every $100 of assessed value
2016 $2.47 for every $100 of assessed value
2015 $2.47 for every $100 of assessed value
- Payment: Blount County Property Tax is collected annually by the Trustee’s Office. The Trustee is not responsible for setting the tax rate and is not responsible for property appraisals/assessments for tax purposes The Trustee only collects Property Tax. The cities receive their taxes separately and the funds go into their budgets.
Example of County taxes on a $250,000 residential property:
$250,000 (Appraised value of property set by the County)
x .25 (Residential property is assessed taxes on 25% of value set by County)
$ 62,500 (Assessment)
x .0159 ($1.59 tax rate set by County per $100 of assessment)
$ 994 (2023 County Property Tax Bill)
Impact on Taxpayers
Property assessments have a direct impact on the amount of property taxes that taxpayers in Blount County must pay. Here’s how:
- Fairness: The goal of property assessments is to ensure fairness in taxation. When assessments accurately reflect market values, taxpayers pay their fair share, and the burden of funding local services is distributed equitably.
- Budgeting: Property owners must budget for property taxes based on the assessed value of their properties. Accurate assessments are essential for effective financial planning. Property Taxes comprise approximately 50% of the City of Maryville’s general fund revenue.
- Local Services: Property taxes in Blount County and in the various cities fund essential local services such as schools, public safety, infrastructure, and parks. Accurate assessments are crucial for maintaining and improving these services.
The Appeal Process
There are roughly 70,000 parcels in Blount County. If a property owner in Blount County believes their property has been over-assessed, they have the right to appeal the assessment. The appeal process allows property owners to present evidence to support their claim that the assessed value is incorrect. Once notices are sent out of the new value, there is an informal hearing phase. That is where the Assessor’s offices take phone calls, answers emails, and explains to constituents how the new value of their property was determined. Values are based on the real estate market. Meaning for the 2023 reappraisal, values were determined based on the 2022 real estate sales. After the informal hearings if the constituent is not satisfied, a formal hearing before our County Board of Equalization is held. The County Board of Equalization is made up of five members from the community. . If the constituent is not happy with the ruling of the County Board of Equalization, they can further their appeal to the State Board of Equalization. If successful, the assessed value may be adjusted, resulting in lower property taxes.
Blount County had 68 constituents appear before the County Board of Equalization, and then 30 go on to appeal at the State Board of Equalization for 2023. Of those 30, 8 were residential appeals. There are larger corporations who have tax representatives that file commercial appeals frequently.
Property assessments are a fundamental part of the tax system. They ensure that property owners contribute their fair share to fund local services and infrastructure. Understanding how property assessments work and their impact on taxpayers is essential for homeowners and businesses in the county, as it directly affects their financial responsibilities and the quality of services they receive. Property owners should stay informed about assessment periods and the appeal process to ensure they are being taxed fairly and accurately.
For more information, please see our local government’s individual websites: