Many property owners in Cumberland County received a letter this past week from Cumberland County Property Assessor Sandy Gilbert.

The letter notifies property owners of their new property assessment following the countywide reappraisal, which takes place every five years.

Many residents likely saw an increase in their property values. Online home buying sites have reported Crossville and Cumberland County home prices have risen 18.7% from March 2021 to March 2022. And prices are up substantially from before the pandemic.

The letter you received notifies you of the appraised value of your property and the assessment ratio, which is set by state law depending on the use of the property.

Residential property and farm property is taxed at 25% of the appraised value while commercial or industrial property is taxed at 40%. 

Property taxes make up the bulk of the revenue used by the county and the city to pay for services residents want and need. They make up a good portion of the school system’s annual budget.

But a higher value on a reappraisal doesn’t mean your tax bill will go up.

The property assessor’s office does not set the tax rate. That’s the job of the Cumberland County Commission, which began its annual budget process last week with a daylong review of operating budgets for various county departments.

That review will continue tonight with the Cumberland County Sheriff’s Office. Additional meetings are planned through May into July. And before the commission sets a tax rate, they will look at the certified tax rate, set by the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury.

Reappraisals are not intended to give governments a windfall of new revenue. Instead, they are meant to keep property values up-to-date. The certified tax rate considers the new property values and the amount of property taxes collected the year before. The rate provides for about the same amount of revenue the county would have collected without changes in property values.

If the reappraisal finds most property has increased in value, that certified tax rate is typically lower than the current rate.

If the commission finds it needs to collect more taxes in the coming year, perhaps to provide for more services for a growing community, they can set a tax rate that is higher than the certified tax rate. That process requires public hearings where you can share your thoughts on a proposed rate. And if that happens, the Crossville Chronicle is where you will find meeting notices and stories about tax rate and budget discussions.

Right now, if you’re looking at your tax appraisal and you think there has been a mistake in value or in classification, contact the Property Assessor’s office. They can help you file an appeal before the Cumberland County Board of Equalization.

Making sure that information is correct is essential to having an accurate accounting for the certified tax rate and to make sure you aren’t overcharged.

Crossville Chronicle