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Knox County Assessor Informs Property Owners

Submitted by Vance Parrish

   This press release is to inform property owners that the assessor will be sending notices to real property owners if the value of their property has increased for the 2006-2007 assessment cycle.

   Vance Parrish, Assessor of Knox County, reports that he is nearing completion of the reassessment of real estate for the 2006-2007 assessment cycle. State law requires the assessor to reassess, or reappraise, all real property in the county every odd numbered year for property tax purposes. The state constitution requires that the values on property reflect fair market value.

   "We reviewed property throughout the county to verify the information in our records, added any new construction and applied obsolescence," said Parrish. "Then, local market conditions were determined by studying recent sales and new construction cost information and new values were established."

   According to Vance, it is important to maintain accurate current assessments so that state funding to local schools is not jeopardized. The assessor also believes it is crucial to base all values on market value to ensure uniformity and fair treatment of all property owners.

   The assessor estimates that values have increased in most areas of the county due in large part to increased building cost. The amount of increase will vary depending upon age, condition, size, style and location of property.

   The impact on taxes of an increase in valuation cannot be calculated until September when the levies are set by the taxing entities. An increase in value does not necessarily result in an equivalent percentage increase in taxes. The statutes require the assessor to place accurate values on the tax rolls for 2007, not to raise or lower taxes. The schools and other political subdivisions set the tax levies. When property values increase these taxing entities are responsible for rolling back their levies to substantially offset the valuation increase.

   The assessor will begin sending impact notices at the end of July. An "impact notice" notifies property owners whose property has increased in value of the new value established for property tax purposes. If the value on a property remains the same or decreases, there is no requirement that the assessor notify the owner.

   A property owner who believes the assessor’s value does not reflect market value may set up an appointment to discuss the assessment with the assessor. However, the owner should be prepared to present substantial information indicating what they believe to be fair market value.

   "My staff and I have invested a lot of time determining the values, and while we are not infallible, we are confident the values are correct," Assessor Parrish said.