Property reappraisal brings surprises

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
Marshall County Assessor of Property Michelle Campbell and her staff work through stacks of property reappraisals that have been returned by the Post Office. Deadline for informal appeals is Friday, May 12, 2017.
Photo by Jay Langston

The reappraisal year has brought some challenges as well as some surprises to Marshall County.

The Marshall County Assessor of Property office has been busy over the last several days trying to answer questions generated by the reappraisal notices sent out by the state last week.

“We’ve had a lot of people come in,” said Marshall County Assessor Michelle Campbell. “Quite a few have called.”

Every five years, the state, using information on each of the county’s 16,000 separate parcels kept by the Assessor, updates the value of county property.

Some county residents received their reappraisal notices well into the informal appeal period. Campbell said that the state, which printed and mailed the notices, and the post office in Nashville where they were mailed, were trying to sort out the delay.

Some haven’t received them at all yet.

On Monday, Campbell had a stack of notices that had been returned to her office by the post office due to address errors or other delivery issues.

Campbell suggested that property owners who have not received a reappraisal notice call or email her office as soon as possible so they can get the information in time to dispute it if there is an error.

“We want to make sure everyone is reached,” she said.

Owners have until Friday, May 12, for informal appeals of the new value to be heard and processed by the Assessor’s Office.

Campbell said that was the last day they could guarantee that changes could be made. It might be possible the next week, but depends on when the state tells her that they are ready to mail out second notices to properties where adjustments have been made.

The reappraisal numbers generated by the state Division of Property have left some surprised. Some residents report increases in their appraisals by 30 percent or more.

The state bases their appraisals on the real estate markets in each county. Comparable home sales and construction growth over the last few years increased some home values substantially.

Property tax payments may not rise, though.

By state law, the county must collect approximately the same amount of money in a reappraisal year as it did the previous year, barring new construction. In 2016, Marshall County collected nearly $17 million.

The state Board of Equalization will present a property tax rate to the County Commission for adoption that would bring in the same amount of revenue.

With the increase in values, the tax rate will drop, with some thinking possibly as low as $2.80 per $1,000. The current county property tax rate is $3.22 per $1,000 of assessed value.

The rate had been $3.09 in 2011, but because the value of property appraisals actually declined during the 2012 reassessment, the state Board of Equalization returned the increase in order to generate the same amount of funding for the county.

For 2016, the estimated value of property in the county was roughly $520,000,000. Campbell said she still expects the final total valuation of the county to rise somewhere between 10 to 15 percent.