Opinion: Stop the State Property Tax

Mar 13, 2019 at 09:00 am by Rob4rctn

State Property Tax

Since 1949 Tennessee has relied on the sales tax as its primary source of funding.

Prior to 1949 the State also had a property tax. The collection of the state property tax went away but not the empowering legislation that makes it so potentially dangerous.

Currently in Tennessee property taxes are only assessed and collected at the local level. With the simple stroke of a legislative pen it could once again be set into motion and on top of all of the others taxes we pay; we would also pay property taxes to the state.

State law (TCA 67-5-101) states "All property, real and personal, shall be assessed for taxation for state, county and municipal purposes, except such as is declared exempt in part 2 of this chapter, or unless otherwise provided."

Did you notice something?

"Real and Personal" property shall be assessed. Your personal property is also subject to taxation. Currently, only personal property assessed is the personal property of businesses.

State law makes the "assumption" that your personal property has no value. All it takes to change that is a simple stroke of the pen and your personal bank accounts, cars, furniture and boats will be taxable as well.

Should the State decide to once again tax property, as they did prior to 1949, this onerous burden will strain local funding currently used to provide needed resources for schools, public safety, highways and general county services.

It may also have an adverse effect on the Basic Education Program (BEP) initiative as well. The quick fix is to change the Tennessee Code Annotated removing the mention of "state" from the property code.

A long-term fix will require an amendment to the state constitution and an outright prohibition. The time to act on this is now.

Demand your elected representatives take this threat seriously.

Property Assessors statewide have taken it seriously. As your local Property Assessor I will not rest until this threat is laid to rest.

Rob Mitchell
Rutherford County Property Assessor


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