Property assessor addresses concerned homeowners in Davidson County

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The Davidson County property assessor held a meeting Thursday night to address concerned residents about their property assessments.

In about three weeks, homeowners in the area will receive new property assessment notices in the mail.

The average increase is 35 percent, which is a historic increase.

It is illegal for Nashville to collect more money from property assessments, but it’s likely some people will pay more in taxes, while others will pay a lot less.

Property assessments ensure that everyone is paying their fair share in taxes. For example, someone in Joelton shouldn’t pay as much in taxes as someone in East Nashville because their property value isn’t as high.

Longtime homeowners and the elderly are likely to pay more in taxes in areas close to downtown, where home values have skyrocketed.

Gertrude Nicholas Brooks’ family has lived near Fisk University for over sixty years. She co-owns seven homes on one street and she’s expecting her tax bills will go up.

“We can handle it but I worry about my neighbors,” she said. “It’s very difficult. If you didn’t have much money, what are you going to do?”

Nicholas Brooks rents her homes and says she may have to pass some of the cost onto her tenants.

“Not too much because they’re like family,” Nicholas Brooks said. “But if the property tax goes up, you’re going to raise the rent a little.”

Depending on where you live, you’re likely to see a 12 to 57 percent increase in property assessments. Again, not everyone will pay more in taxes.

To explain how property assessments work, Assessor Vivian Wilhoite hosted her 52nd community meeting Thursday night.

“Informing citizens about this process and letting them know what are their options is important,” she told News 2. “Qualifying for tax freezes, tax relief, tax deferral or the programs provided by the Metro Action Commission for seniors are the kind of information we need to get out.”

Wilhoite is hosting more than 20 meetings in the coming weeks. Click here for more information.

April 5 is the deadline for homeowners seeking a property tax freeze or property tax relief. A property tax freeze is for homeowners 65 or older with a joint income of less than $41,660 for 2015.

Property tax relief would provide reimbursements from that state and Davidson County depending on the homeowner’s situation.

To qualify the homeowners must be 65 or older, disabled, or disabled veterans with a joint income less than $29,180 for 2015.

You can apply in person at the Davidson County Trustee’s Office with all the required documentation. You can also apply at three neighborhood sites in March.

The Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee has resources available to older adults and caregivers. There is a directory of services that is free to older adults and caregivers that is available at all Nashville public libraries.

To contact the Council on Aging of Middle Tennessee, call 615-353-4235.