It’s been sticker shock at the mailbox for many Cheatham County residents recently. Property owners have received a letter stating their property’s assessed value has changed, and for the majority, the value is much higher than they thought. For example, a Chapmansboro family’s three-bedroom two-bath home which had been appraised previously at about $113,000 had gone up to just over $138,000. While the changes are different for everyone, the increases did not happen overnight, according to Cindy Dozier Burney, Cheatham County Assessor of Property.
The changes actually represent a six-year period of time, Burney explained. “As mandated by the Tennessee Code Annotated 67-5-1605, Cheatham County underwent a reappraisal in 2019,” she said. The last reappraisal occurred in 2013.
In a reappraisal, the state takes the lead in the process in working to make sure all properties in the county are brought to fair market value, Burney explained.
According to the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury’s website, “reappraisal is the mass appraisal of all property within a jurisdiction completed at the end of a reappraisal cycle.”
The state Comptroller’s website goes on to explain “not all properties are reappraised each year, but all properties within a jurisdiction must be appraised or reappraised once within a reappraisal cycle. Between reappraisals, a property’s appraisal amount remains constant, with the exception of properties that have changed significantly due to new buildings, additions, demolitions, etc.”
Being in close proximity to the very active real estate market of Metropolitan Nashville – Davidson County, it is no surprise that the overall average increase for the county was 29 percent. The Division of Property Assessment within the state Comptroller’s office reviews accepted sales in 2018 to price land and set improvement rates that are suggested to the assessor’s office in order to achieve market value for the entire county, Burney said.
Statistical testing is used to ensure an appraisal/sales ratio of 1.000, and once that ratio is reached, the assessment is considered complete, she added. Assessment change notices are then sent out, which includes the dates of April 29 – May 10 when property owners may make “informal appeals” to the assessor’s office. Property owners who disagree with their appraisal may appeal to the County Board of Equalization that meets the first two full weeks of June.
As far as how this impacts county residents’ property taxes, it’s a wait-and-see situation. The State Board of Equalization will calculate a certified tax rate and suggest the County Commission adopt the rate. According to the county mayor’s office, the certified tax rate is received by the commissioners in late May or early June.
Because the overall assessment increased, Burney said, the certified tax rate is expected to decrease. “The County Commission can opt not to adopt the certified tax rate,” she added.
The next reappraisal will occur in 2024, Burney said. For more information about the reappraisal process, visit https://www.comptroller.tn.gov/office-functions/pa.html.