Hundreds apply for tax relief programs in Davidson County

(Photo: WKRN)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Nashville is now known as the ‘It City’ – and with growth, comes higher home prices and higher property taxes.

For those people 65 years and older, there is help, but the deadline file ended today.

Workers at the Davidson County Trustee’s office were greeted with long lines as a flood of people tried to beat that deadline.

Two hundred to 300 people have applied for the tax freeze and or tax relief programs over the past three days.

The tax freeze is for seniors 65 and older and makes an income of $41,660 or less. Disabled homeowners and veterans also qualified.

Photo: WKRN

The program does what it sounds like – freezes homeowners’ property taxes to what they paid last year.

Several city departments including the mayor’s office, Property Assessor, Trustee, Council members, and the group Noah have been spreading the word about the programs, that’s why there has been an influx of people.

Since the people in line were all elderly, workers provided water and snacks because of the long wait.

“Because so many people are coming at once, the wait has been longer than we would like it to be, so we’re trying to get them in and out as quickly as we can, but in the meantime while they are having to waiting trying to make sure they are comfortable,” Davidson County Staff Attorney Jessica Davey.

The line was still quite long even though the Trustee’s office closed at 4:30 p.m.

People who were already in line were assured they will be able to apply.

On Tuesday night, workers were there until 8:30 p.m..

Sandra Binkley is on a fixed income and has to save every dime just to pay her property taxes.

“Money is tight, and everything keeps going up,” the Davidson County homeowner said.

Property taxes on her Western Shores Drive home near Hermitage are about $1,000 a year.

“That’s a big bite,” Binkley said. “I have to take out something every month for it to meet it. So, if this could be frozen it would be wonderful.”

She continued, “I’m not opposed to paying it, I’m not trying to get out of it, I just know there is a limit to my income.”

2017 is a reappraisal year for Davidson County.

The property assessor will be determining the assessed value of homes.

Right now, the property rate is 35 percent, so several areas is most likely to see an increase in property taxes.

“The values that some of them could receive could impact their home greatly, could impact their income greatly,” said Davidson County Property Assessor Vivian Wilhoite.

In some areas like East Nashville property values are skyrocketing, and the tax freeze or tax relief program will help thousands of homeowners.

“As we go through this ‘it’ city phenomenon they will be able to pay their taxes and be a little more comfortable in their home,” Wilhoite said.

Bill Neal and his wife waited in line two days in a row only to find out they didn’t qualify because they had to turn 65 by December of last year.

“Our taxes cost us $1,500 a year out of about $30,000 we have in retirement income,” Neal said. “So that’s a pretty sufficient amount and as these assessments increases its going to be hard for people to pay them.”

Last year about 7,400 homeowners applied for the two programs.

Trustee workers said that number has been exceeded with the influx of people the last three days trying to beat the deadline.

The property assessor will send out home assessment values at the end of the month.

Once you receive it, and you think your home’s value is too high or too low, you can file an appeal.