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Knox Co. to reassess property values, possibly changing taxes for homeowners

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs spoke with the county's property assessor about how reassessment works and what it can mean for homeowners.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Just a few years ago in 2018, homes in Knoxville the median price of buying a home was around $169,900 according to the Knoxville Area Association of Realtors.

A lot can change in four years. According to KAAR's 2022 report, only around 27% of home sales in Knoxville were priced under $200,000. While the report warns homeownership rates have declined, the fierce housing market may have also led to higher home values for existing homeowners.

Tennessee law requires counties to reassess the value of properties in the area around every four years, according to officials. Now, the time is coming up for the county to re-examine the value of homes in the area.

Knox County Mayor Glenn Jacobs warned in a social media post that upcoming reassessments could change property taxes.

"A lot of people this week were surprised to learn that their homes had doubled in value," Jacobs said.

John Whitehead, the Knox County property assessor, said his team is analyzing around 10,500 home sales to formally determine the value of homes in the area. He said those sales are spread over 172 maps in Knox County.

To assess their value, he said they compare different kinds of sales on different maps to arrive at a specific dollar amount. He said the county has reassessed property value every 4-6 years in the past. Now, he said they will go through the process every four years to stay ahead of a rapidly changing market.

He also said it is possible for property taxes to lower after they are reassessed. Generally, he said if the new value of a home is assessed at around 40% more than its previous value, homeowners will not see an increase in taxes.

"The aggregate amount of property tax that we collect has to basically remain the same. This is not a hidden property tax," Jacobs said.

After home values are reassessed, Whitehead said Jacobs will receive a form about the new value of homes in the county. Then it will be sent to state leaders in Nashville.

While the reassessing process is a routine part of local government, 2022's reassessment process can be startling for some long-time residents who worry their taxes can go up due to a huge increase in the value of homes near Knoxville and across Tennessee.

"It's every county, it ain't just Knox County," Whitehead said. "Davidson County, they went up 35% last year. And Jefferson and Shelby County too. Memphis, they went up 35% to 40% on average. It's statewide."

Anyone who wants more information about the process can call Whitehead's office at 865-215-2360. Homeowners can also appeal changes to their home's value by scheduling an appointment with the property assessor by calling 865-215-2006.

Homeowners can also appeal and check their property values online.

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