Certified Tax Rate
The purpose of periodic reappraisal is not to increase the amount
of revenue derived from property taxes, but to update and equalize the
values of all taxable properties in the county and to ensure that the
burden of taxes is distributed fairly, according to those property
One of the final steps in the reappraisal process for a
jurisdiction is calculating a Certified Tax Rate based on the updated
property values. Primarily the responsibility of the county or municipal
legislative body, this procedure requires input from both the Assessor
of Property and the State Board of Equalization.
Tennessee Code Annotated 67-5-1701 provides that upon a general
county reappraisal of all property, the Assessor of Property must
certify to the local legislative bodies the total assessed value of all
taxable property in their respective jurisdictions. The Assessor must
also furnish an estimate of the total assessed value of all new
construction and improvements that were not included on the previous
assessment roll, and the assessed value of deletions from the previous
assessment roll. Exclusive of new additions and deletions, the local
legislative body is required to determine and certify a tax rate which
will provide the same "ad valorem" (according to value) property tax
revenue that was levied during the previous year.
Prior to final determination of the jurisdiction’s certified tax
rate, the legislative body must submit a proposed certified tax rate,
including all supporting calculations, to the Executive Secretary of the
State Board of Equalization for review. The Executive Secretary then
has 15 days to review the submission and issue a report (or not). The
local legislative body, after reviewing the state’s report (if one is
issued) may make changes to the rate if they so choose, and then must
certify a tax rate as their jurisdiction’s official certified tax rate.
Exceeding the Certified Tax Rate
In order to levy a tax rate in excess of the certified tax rate, the county commission must:
- advertise the intent to exceed the certified tax rate in a newspaper of general circulation in the county;
- furnish the State Board of Equalization with an affidavit of publication within 30 days after the publication;
- hold a public hearing on the issue of exceeding the certified rate;
- adopt a resolution to levy a tax rate in excess of the certified tax rate.
If the purpose of exceeding the certified tax rate is solely to
offset the amount of reductions to the tax roll caused by County or
State Boards of Equalization rulings, the increase may be adopted
without following this procedure.