RUTHERFORD COUNTY, Tenn. (WKRN) – Property owners in Rutherford County are warned to expect sticker shock when they receive this year’s property valuations. Notifications are estimated to hit mailboxes starting Tuesday and the median increase in property values between 2018 and 2022 in Rutherford County is 44%.
“I thought it was important before people got their notices in the mail, that they know that the values are going up. They’re going up based on market demand. So what they will be getting in the mail is the reflection of a four-year change in value,” said Rutherford County Property Assessor Rob Mitchell. “Prior to people getting the actual notice in the mail and having sticker shock, thinking, well, it was this amount last year, and now it’s jumped, you know, 42%, or 44%, or 50% in value [we want them to know] that is a reflection of what their property has done in the market since 2018.”
Mitchell shared a heatmap showing what communities saw the biggest increases including La Vergne, the Kittrell/Readyville area and southeast Murfreesboro.
The notice said Middle Tennessee experienced dramatic growth in population since the last revaluation in 2018, and the median increase in values for Rutherford County is on par with increases seen in all major population centers in Tennessee recently. According to Mitchell, his office factors in the notion that this is not a normal market.
“That’s what’s driving the prices up is the scarcity in the demand. That 44.6% could have been higher had we been aggressive in pursuit of the numbers, but we take the position that this is not a normal market,” Mitchell explained. “There are factors in it that are causing undue stress on it. That is not normal. It’s causing greater scarcity than what would have been in a normal market.”
According to the notice, when the cities and county governments in Rutherford County calculate a revenue-neutral tax rate for their jurisdictions, it will be recorded as low value as well. They told property owners the rates will produce revenue numbers from the tax base that are equivalent to the previous year’s tax levy since the tax burden is redistributed based on the demand in the market for property types.
“If your property value went up 50% you’re going to pay more in taxes, even if your jurisdiction adopts a revenue-neutral rate, you’re gonna pay more than you paid last year,” Mitchell said. “But it’s not going to be this huge amount. It’ll be more, but it’s only going to be relatively the percentage between the median increase and what your property increased.”
With the growth in Middle Tennessee over the years impacting property values, Mitchell described the work of his office as “tremendous.”
“Our office is unique in that the property assessor’s office is simply concerned with the value and concern with equity, we want to make sure that the value is correct. We want to make sure that no one particular group has an advantage over another,” he said. “Our office is the only office in all of the county government that has a constitutional directive to make sure that there is equity in the property tax system.”
The county board of equalization convenes on June first to hear appeals from property owners. For more information, visit www.rcpatn.com/cboe or call 615-898-7750.