Rutherford County is in a State Mandated Revaluation and Equalization process for Tax Year 2018. What is news but should not be a surprise to anyone is that our real estate market values have increased due to supply and demand. Many people want to live and work in Rutherford County, one of the highest growth counties in Tennessee and in the Nation.
Most folks understood there was going to be some increase in real property values but may have been unprepared for the amount when they saw how it related to their individual property. Assessment valuations in 2014 were at $6.09 billion dollars and for 2018 total assessments for taxation topped $8 billion dollars. This is a substantial but not unanticipated change over 2014.
People do not need to worry that an increase of 25% in value equates to a 25% increase in taxes in October. That is not how the equalization and revaluation process works in Tennessee. Due to the "Truth in Taxation Law" every taxing jurisdiction must calculate a revenue neutral certified rate in a year in which a revaluation occurs. This is a rate which when applied to the aggregate property assessment for the county, less new development, produces the same levy as the prior year. These amounts are developed from median or middle value appraisals increases or decreases.
An example might be this: a property increases in value over four year 25% but the median increase was 30%. When the revenue neutral rate is developed and adopted the taxes due actually drop by 5% for this property. If another property increased in value over the last four years by 35% and the median increase was 30% then this property would expect to have a 5% increase in taxes. The change in value of the properties has a relation to, but is not representative of the taxes to be paid.
Rutherford County Property Assessor Rob Mitchell stated, "We are happy to have one of our appraisers speak with you about our process if you believe there is a grievous error in the valuation of your property. There may be a condition that diminishes or increases your property’s worth. If you bring those to our attention we will be happy to look at it and make an appropriate recommendation. We may raise, lower or keep the valuation the same. We may assist you in making an appeal before the local County Board of Equalization which convenes on June 1st of the year."