FAQ

General Property Questions

1. When are property tax bills mailed out?

Generally, the last week in September. Property tax bills are mailed to the owner of record (as of January 1). If a deed change occurs after the first of the year, a tax bill is mailed to the new owner of the property as a courtesy. This will only apply to a complete parcel exchange. New owners should contact their title company or review their closing statement to determine who is responsible for paying the taxes. Payment of property tax depends on when the property is transferred. Unpaid taxes continue to accrue penalties against the property.

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2. What time of year are property taxes due?

Taxes are due and payable from 1 October of the tax year through 29 February.

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3. Are partial payments accepted for my taxes?

No.

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4. What happens if I miss the tax payment deadline?

From the first day of each month beginning 1 March, interest and penalty of 1.5 percent per month (18 percent annually) is added to your tax amount. If the Post Office fails to postmark your payment by the dates due, it is considered a late payment. This applies even if you mail your payment on time. On line property tax payments made through the BIS system are recognized by the county as paid on the date of the on line transaction.

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5. What time period do my annual taxes cover?

The taxes that become payable October 1 cover the current calendar year.

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6. Where can my tax bill be paid in person?

The trustee's office is located at 732 South Congress Boulevard, Room 103. Office hours are 8:00 a.m. through 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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7. What does the term "EtUx" beside my husband's name on the property bill mean?

EtUx is a Latin phrase meaning "and wife." The phrase "EtVir" means "and husband," EtAl means "and others."

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8. What do some of the terms on my tax bill mean?

Check the online glossary section for definitions of terms on your tax bill.

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9. Does my mortgage company get a copy of my tax bill mailed to them?

If requested before tax bills are mailed to the property owner prior to the last week of September.

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Exemptions

1. Do the elderly, disabled or disabled veterans receive any discounts or exemptions?

Property tax owners that meet the eligibility requirements may apply for the Tennessee State Property Tax Relief Program. These requirements include: age/ disability; ownership/ residency; and income (except veterans and their eligible surviving spouses). There are three basic criteria that must be met to attain reimbursement for low income homeowners who are elderly or disabled. The reimbursement is determined by our county’s tax rate and full market value/assessed value of the property. If applying as a new applicant, the State of Tennessee will review your application to determine your eligibility for possible benefits. For the tax year 2011, the maximum amount of benefits for DeKalb County is $101.00.

Age/ Disability

During the tax year for which they are applying, an applicant must turn 65 on or before December 31. In order to apply as a disabled homeowner, a person must have become disabled on or before December 31 of the current tax year.

Ownership/ Residency
An applicant must be able to document that they had ownership of the taxable property during the tax year. Ownership may be documented by a warranty deed, probated will, title or bill of sale for a mobile home.

Income Requirement (Elderly or Disabled Homeowners)

The combined annual income from all sources of all the living owners of record is required and cannot exceed $26,830 for the year 2010. Annual income from all sources shall include, but is not limited to, Social Security payments after the Medicare deduction, supplemental security income, retirement and pension benefits, veteran's benefits, worker's compensation, unemployment compensation, salaries and wages, alimony, total interest and total dividends. For income from a business, include only the net income or loss after expenses.

Disabled Veterans

Disabled veterans must have disability ratings at 100 percent as deemed by the Veterans Administration. The named veteran must meet one of the following criteria: 1) 100 percent total and permanent disability rating from a service-connected disability which resulted in paraplegia or permanent paralysis of both legs and lower body resulting from traumatic injury or disease to the spinal cord or brain; or loss, or loss of use, of two or more limbs, or legal blindness; 2) 100 percent total and permanent disability rating from being a prisoner of war.

Applications for tax relief are available in the trustee's office. For more information, call our office at (615) 597-5176.

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Reviewing Your Property Info

1. Is there a charge for reviewing information about my property?

For an individual property, there is no charge for reviewing tax information.

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2. Is my property information viewable by other people?

Any individual or company is allowed to review it. Property tax information is public record.

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Property Assessment

1. Where can I find information about the assessed value of my property?

The county assessor is responsible for the appraisal and assessment of property. You may contact the county assessor's office at (615) 597-5925.

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2. How are the county assessor's office and the trustee's office related?

The county assessor is responsible for the appraisal and assessment of property, according to state law. The trustee's office is responsible for collection of tax amounts based on assessments. The trustee has no authority over the amount of assessment, nor can he be involved in the appraisal process.

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3. What is the appeal process?

Appointments can be made by contacting the assessor's office. The appeal process begins in the county assessor's office by appearing before the Local Board of Equalization. This board meets annually during the first two weeks of June.

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Tax Sale Information

1. What is a tax sale?

An auction of parcels of property that have prior year delinquent taxes which were turned over to Chancery Court.

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2. What is the date and time of the annual tax sale auction?

The date and time is set by the Clerk & Master in Chancery Court.

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3. Where and when will the auction/sale be advertised?

Local media.

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4. When are tax sales advertised?

The auction list is published approximately 6 weeks before the sale.

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5. How and when do you register for the tax sale auctions?

You must register in the Clerk & Master’s office on the day of sale and must be present to bid.

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6. Is it possible to register by mail?

No.

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7. What type of payment is required at auction?

Cash, money order, or check is required at the time of the sale.

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8. What type of bidding process is used?

This is an open public auction.

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9. Will the sales be final?

No, there is a one year redeeming period for which the lien was filed against. After the one year period, winning bidder will assume property.

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10. Will all other liens be cleared from the property as a result of the sale?

No property will be sold according to a title opinion with any liens.

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11. Is there a redemption period before I can take possession once a property is acquired through your tax sale, if so, what is the redemption period?

The new owner cannot take possession of the property until one year from the date the confirmation of sale is filed.

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12. If there is a redemption period, does the investor earn interest during the redemption period?

No.

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13. If a foreclosure is necessary, will the county assist in this matter?

No.

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14. Will I receive a document to verify the purchase? Will it be a deed or a certificate of lien?

You will receive a receipt showing the amount you paid. At the end of the redemption period, the county will issue a deed.

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15. Do you allow investors to invest at your tax sales without attending the tax sale?

No.

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16. Is a current list of available properties or liens available?

The available properties are published in local media 6 weeks before the tax sale. To obtain a copy of the available properties or liens, you may contact the Clerk & Master at 615-597-4360.

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17. Is a copy of the county and state statutes and rules regarding the tax sale available for purchase?

No.

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18. Would you please place me on your mailing list if you have one?

See Clerk & Master for further details.

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19. Can I get a list of properties whose redemption period has already expired?

See Clerk & Master for further details.

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20. When will the list of unsold /unbid-on property be available?

There is rarely property remaining after an auction that hasn't been sold or bid on. If there is any property that was not sold or bid on, the one year redemption period applies to the county. See Clerk & Master for further details.

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