What does the Assessor do?
Billy Breeden, the current property assessor, is required by the Tennessee Constitution to list and value all property subject to ad valorem taxation on an assessment roll each year. The "ad valorem" basis for taxation means that all property should be taxes according to value. The assessed value is a percentage of "fair market value" or "use value" as prescribed by law.
Property is assessed as follows:
Residential Land - 25% of "fair market value"
Residential Improvements - 25% of "fair market value"
Commercial Property - 40% of "fair market value"
Business Personal Property - 30% of "fair market value"
All public service properties are assessed by the State Assessed Properties Division (formerly the Public Service Commission).
The Assessor of Property is responsible for identifying all real property located in the county by appraising, measuring, and inspecting, all real property. We also complete appraisal of parcels of land that are divided or split between reappraisals.
What does the Assessor not do?
The Assessor of Property does not raise or lower taxes. The Assessor of Property does not make the laws which affect property owners. The Constitution of the State of Tennessee, as adopted by the voters, provides the basic framework for taxation, and tax laws are made by the Tennessee Legislature. The laws and regulations for assessments are set by the Tennessee Legislature. The tax dollars are levied by the taxing bodies, such as the city council or county commission and are collected by the Trustee's office or City Collecting Officer. The assessor's office has nothing to do with the total amount of taxes collected. The assessor's primary responsibility is to find the "fair market value" of your property so that you may pay your fair share of taxes. The amount of taxes you pay is determined by a tax rate applied to your property's assessed value. The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies within a district, city or county, and those rate fixed by the Constitution. They include your city council and county commission. The tax rate is the basis for the budget needed or demanded by the voters to provide for services such as schools, roads, law enforcement, etc. Tax rates are simply those rates which will provide funds to pay for those services.