Tennessee senior citizens get property tax relief
Posted: Monday, October 27, 2008 9:12 pm
NASHVILLE (AP) — More than 16,000 senior citizens in Tennessee have obtained a property tax freeze after state lawmakers approved a program last year to bring seniors relief.
Metro officials said 6,500 of the seniors are in Davidson County; that number could exceed 7,000 by April.
The Property Tax Freeze Act of 2007 allows property owners older than 65 to keep their property tax bill at a fixed amount even if the tax rate or the ap-praised value of the home rises.
Nineteen counties and 11 cities participate in the program, said Tom Fleming, assistant to the state comptroller for property assessments. More communities are considering adding the program. Communities have until Dec. 31 to adopt it.
“I think everybody is a little nervous about the economy even if they are not directly tied to what is happening with the markets,” Teb Batey, Rutherford County trustee, told The Tennessean.
Communities cannot yet say what financial impact the 2-year-old program will have.
Davidson County Trustee Charlie Cardwell said if there is a tax rate increase, the difference that the seniors do not pay is spread among the rest of the taxpayers.
Trustees request seniors call to schedule an appointment to apply at their county trustee’s office or local collector of taxes. Besides the age prerequisite, the income of all the deed owners cannot exceed the amount set by a state formula that uses the
county’s median income and population.
Seniors must reapply annually, and their property tax bill can increase if the seniors make home improvements or if the community withdraws from the statewide program.
Qualifying income levels vary from county to county. Many counties have an income limit of $24,790, and Williamson County has the highest cap of $44,570.
Information from: The Tennessean, http://www.tennessean.com