Appealing Property Assessments
Any property owner who believes that the classification or value assigned to his property by the Assessor is incorrect has the right to appeal that assessment and be heard regarding their opinion of value. Many times a phone call or visit to the Assessor’s Office can clear up administrative errors or answer questions an owner may have about how a value was established. If after discussing the complaint with the Assessor, a property owner wishes to file a formal appeal, the County Board of Equalization is the next step in that process.
The County Board of Equalization is the first level of administrative appeal for complaints regarding the assessment, classification, and valuation of property for tax purposes. It consists of five (5) property owners selected from different parts of the county to serve two-year terms. Because of Lenoir City’s population, Tennessee law requires that one (1) member of the Board to be a Lenoir City resident appointed by the City Council.
In addition to hearing appeals from property owners/taxpayers, the board is responsible for ensuring that the county’s property assessments are fair and balanced, that all taxable properties are included on the assessment rolls, and that exempt properties have been properly eliminate from taxation.
The County Board of Equalization meets beginning the 1st day of June each year and remains in session until that year’s equalization is complete—usually no more than a couple of weeks. Approximately 10 days prior to the board convening, the Assessor will publish a public notice in the local newspaper detailing the dates, time, and place the board will be meeting to hear appeals. The procedure for property owners to make an appointment will also be stated in the notice. It typically consists of making a request by phone or in person at the Assessor’s office during the last week of May or the first week of June.
As a property owner, you have the right to appear in person, or have a family member, attorney or duly authorized agent appear with you or on your behalf. You should bring any appraisals, receipts, comparable property assessments or other documents that support your case as to the property’s value. You also have the right to bring witnesses who can provide relevant information about your property.
After hearing all of the evidence, the board will make a decision and the results will be mailed to you, likely before the end of June. If you are still not satisfied with the decision of the county board, the next step is to carry the appeal to the State Board of Equalization. The decision letter from county board will include directions on how to file an appeal with the State Board. By law that appeal must be made prior to 1 August or 45 Days after the County Board’s letter is mailed, whichever is later.