State law requires that all property be periodically reappraised at market value. Bradley County’s reappraisal process is generally conducted in house by the current staff, with technical assistance from the State of Tennessee Division of Property Assessments. All field work and determinations are completed by the Bradley County Assessor and his staff. The Division of Property Assessments assists with specialized assistance in developing rates and procedures.
The Division of Property Assessment does monitor the reappraisal to ensure that the local Assessor’s office does abide to the guidelines set by the Tennessee State Board of Equalization. Bradley County was last reappraised in 2013. The scheduled update for 2017, is underway and notices are scheduled to go out to the property owners in April of 2017. Bradley County is using the Four Year Reappraisal Cycle as allowed by law, and according to the rules and regulations to the State of Tennessee and the State Board of Equalization.
Assessment change notices are required to be mailed to all property owners with a change in assessed value. The notice will be titled "ASSESSMENT CHANGE NOTICE". This document provides the estimated fair market value of your property as of January 1, of the reappraisal year, and the assessed valuation and classification used for determination of the tax amount. These appraisals are determined from the real estate sales that occurred during calendar year preceeding the reappraisal year. All factors of the ever changing real estate market are considered.
A new appraisal does not necessarily mean a change in property tax revenue for any funding body. A new Certified Tax rate will be determined by the State Board of Equalization, T.C.A. §67-5-1701. Tennessee’s Certified Tax Rate law is intended to provide a revenue neutral condition for all jurisdictions after a mass reappraisal. It requires the tax rate be adjusted to produce the same amount of revenue as the previous year. For example, if Bradley County’s total revenue from property tax is $40,000,000 for the previous tax year, the reappraisal year tax rate must be adjusted to generate the same amount of revenue.
During the last reappraisal, for 2013, the Bradley County tax rate was raised from $1.7920 to $1.8721 per $100 of assessed value because of an overall reduction in assessed values. By the same convention if values go up the tax rate will see an decrease to maintain the proper funding level to meet the obligations of the jurisdiction.
This does not mean that individual tax amounts won’t change but that the jurisdiction cannot receive a gain or “windfall” of new tax dollars nor a loss of tax dollars from conducting a reappraisal program.
Any rate other than the Certified Tax Rate must be voted on and approved by the Bradley County Commission, the Cleveland City Council, or the Charleston City Council. These bodies must also advertise the intent of superceding that rate.
Generally, the appraisal and assessment of a property do not change in the years between reappraisals due to market conditions, but is maintained at an equal level based on the values determined during the reappraisal. This is done through the use of ratio studys and using valuation tables developed during the reappraisal year to maintain equality until the next revaluation.
However, properties which have changed during a non-reappraisal year may require a change in appraised value, assessed value, and/or classification. These changes can be due to ownership changes, permits for the various possible changes, or separation of land into multiple tracts.
Also during the years between the reappraisal years the assessor’s staff is required by law to conduct a review of all properties in the jurisdiction, to insure the records are accurate.
When any changes occur, the information is updated to reflect the current status and the value may be adjusted as needed.
Any change in valuation requires an Assessment Change Notice to be mailed to the property owner of record, and they must be given a chance to question or appeal that value..
If a property owner wishes to discuss their new assessment, they should follow the directions listed on the assessment change notice or by calling the Assessor of Property’s Office at 423-728-7126, or you can come by the office located in Room 106 of the Courthouse Annex, which is the old post office building downtown. The staff will be happy to answer questions and review the information on your property. Property owners will be notified by mail of the outcome of their request.
It is the goal of the Assessor’s office to arrive at a fair market value for all property owners.