KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Across Knox County, people are receiving yellow notices in the mail notifying them that the value of their homes has changed. It's a part of the county's property value reassessment process.
The process involves looking at home sales in the specific areas and comparing those sales to other nearby homes. It also includes collecting information about specific homes, such as any renovations that were done and the size of the lot.
By analyzing all that information, the county's property assessor can arrive at a value showing what the home could be worth.
"The county's total appraisal, when you add everybody's house together, it goes up 40%," said John Whitehead, the county assessor. "Then, the tax rate has to go down 40% and the people who are right on 40%, that's where they break even."
Homeowners are flooding his office with appeals, asking assessors to reconsider the value of their property. Some people are finding that the notices show their home's values have nearly doubled, leading to concerns that their taxes could rise too.
Whitehead also admitted that there could be room for error in the reassessment process. He said they could value 100 properties using just five sales in the area.
A dilapidated home should not hold the same value as a newly renovated home, even if it is on the same block, he said. So, he said people should also double-check the assessed value to ensure it seems accurate.
He said they are receiving appeals from people in a variety of ways. His office has seen appeals through email, and by phone, and they have seen property owners appeal in person.
Whitehead said he expects the office will get the most appeals they have ever had this year.
"I'd say we'll be closer to the upper side this time, because it's the most it has gone up in many, many years," he said.
Anyone who wants to appeal their assessed property value should prepare evidence and documents before appealing. He said people should bring recent pictures, sales contracts and any appraisals that had been done within a year.
People can call 865-215-2006 to appeal or email the office through its website. There is also a form online to request an appeal.