Every five years, the state re-appraises Benton County properties and mandates a certified tax rate. It happens in every county across Tennessee.
The method is the same each time, according to Property Assessor Ryan Hall. He explained how the system works and who actually decides on any tax in- creases, if there is any.
Hall shared the steps for how the state sets the certified tax rate.
“They began last fall examining sales data from homes and properties and adjusted ap- praisals across the board. They then mail out change notices from Nashville on March 13. These notifications show assessment changes and offer a limited amount of time for taxpayers to inquire about the adjustments. It is called the informal hearing phase. Then the County Board of Equalization met on June 1 to hear any appeals. That por- tion ended on Friday.
The last phase is the certified tax rate is brought before local governing bodies, for example, the county commissioners, and they decide to keep the certified rate or to raise it.”
He said that the state set Benton County’s certified tax rate as $2.73. That is down from the previous $2.95. Big Sandy dropped from 85 cents to 81 cents, while the City of Camden fell under the previous $1 to 94 cents.
Hall said, “Most people do not realize that around 95% of all functions of the assessor’s office is dictated by state law, including reappraisals. For me, I do everything in my power to lock in state rates to ensure citizens do not see a countywide tax increase.”
“But in the end,” Hall finished, “it is up to the county commissioners and city aldermen.”