Overview of Tennessee Taxes
Tennessee has some of the lowest property taxes in the U.S. The median annual property tax paid by homeowners in Tennessee is $1,220, about half the national average. The average effective property tax rate in Tennessee is 0.64%.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
Tennessee Property Tax
If you're thinking about becoming a homeowner in Tennessee or you already are one, we’ve got great news: Tennessee's property taxes are low compared to national rankings. The median annual property tax payment in Tennessee is just $1,220, about half the national average.
Low property taxes aren’t uniform across the state, however. In Memphis, Tennessee’s most populous city, rates are double the state average.
Our Tennessee mortgage guide will help make the homebuying process a little easier by laying out the most important details about rates and getting a mortgage in the Volunteer State. You’ll also want to check it out if you are thinking about refinancing a mortgage.
A financial advisor in Tennessee can help you understand how homeownership fits into your overall financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including taxes, homeownership, retirement and more, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
Tennessee Property Tax Rules
County officials are responsible for administering the property tax in Tennessee, starting with the county assessor. The county assessor in each county is responsible for assigning a value to each property, on which taxes are based.
This is done through a regular reappraisal. Assessors reappraise property in Tennessee in four to six year cycles. The purpose of the reappraisal is to determine the current market value, on which taxes will be based until the next reappraisal in four, five or six years.
Homeowners who believe their property has been over-appraised should first contact their assessor for an informal discussion. If that discussion is not fruitful, an official appeal can be filed with the County Board of Equalization.
Taxes are not applied to that full market value, rather to the assessed value. For residential property, assessed value is equal to 25% of market value. Thus, if your county assessor appraises your property at $100,000, your assessed value will be $25,000. Your tax rate applies to that amount.
Tennessee Property Tax Rates
Tax rates are calculated by the County Commission, depending on the funding needs of local government bodies and the total value of assessed property in a district.
Rates are expressed as dollars per $100 of assessed value. If your mill rate is $3.00 and your assessed value is $25,000, your total taxes will be $750 per year.
The effective rate on a property is the amount of taxes paid as a percentage of home value, not assessed value. The table below shows average effective rates for every county in Tennessee, as well as median annual tax payments and median home value.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
|Van Buren County||$92,800||$446||0.48%|
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Located in southwest Tennessee, Shelby County contains the city of Memphis. It has the highest property tax rates in the state, and by a wide margin. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 1.42%, double the state average.
In Memphis, rates are especially high. The total rate in the city of Memphis is $3.1959 per every $100 in assessed value. So, for example, on a home worth $100,000 in Memphis, the assessed value would be $25,000 and total taxes would be around $799.
While property tax rates in central Tennessee’s Davidson County are not nearly as high as those in Memphis and Shelby County, they still rank as some of the highest rates, on average, in the state. The county’s average effective tax rate is 0.82%. The largest city in Davidson County is the state capital, Nashville. In Nashville, the property tax rate is $4.221 per $100 of assessed value.
If you have questions about how property taxes can affect your overall financial plans, a financial advisor in Nashville can help you out.
Knox County is located in eastern Tennessee, at the confluence of French Broad River and Holston River. It contains the city of Knoxville, and the main campus of the University of Tennessee. It is one of the most populous counties in Tennessee, with a population of around 456,000.
Compared with Tennessee’s other densely populated counties, property tax rates in Knox County are relatively low. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 0.67%. In the city of Knoxville, the total millage rate is 4.5838 mills.
Situated along the Tennessee River, Hamilton County has among the highest property tax rates in the state. The county’s average effective tax rate is 0.89%. In Chattanooga, the county’s largest city, the total mill rate is $2.2770 per $100 in assessed value, which is equal to 25% of market value.
Property in Hamilton County was most recently reappraised in 2017. The next reappraisal is scheduled for 2021.
Rutherford County is located southeast of Knoxville and contains the city of Murfreesboro. It is named after Revolutionary War officer Griffith Rutherford. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 0.71%. At that rate, someone with a home worth $150,000 would pay about $1,065 annually in property taxes.
The median annual property tax paid by homeowners in Williamson County is $2,301, highest in the state and almost double the state average. However, those high taxes are in large part due to high home values in the county.
More specifically, the median home value in Williamson County is $417,700. That's one of the highest values in the state.
With a population of about 200,000, Montgomery County is one of the largest counties in Tennessee. Its largest city is Clarksville.
The average effective property tax in Montgomery County is 0.84%. In Clarksville, the total millage rate is 4.0196.
Sumner County is located northeast of Nashville, along the state border with Kentucky. The median annual property tax paid by homeowners in Sumner County is $1,399. The county’s most recent reappraisal took place in 2019, which means the next reappraisal will not be held until 2024. Therefore, taxes are based on the 2019 valuation until then.
Northeast Tennessee’s Sullivan County has property tax rates just below the state average. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 0.69%, while the state average is 0.64%.
Homeowners in Washington County pay a median property tax of just $1,060 annually. That is far less than half the national average, which is $2,578. Reappraisals in the county are held once every five years, with the next reappraisal taking place in 2024.
Places Receiving the Most Value for Their Property Taxes
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most value for their property tax dollars. To do this, we looked at property taxes paid, school rankings and the change in property values over a five-year period.
First, we used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. We created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, we assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.
Then, we calculated the change in property tax value in each county over a five-year period. Places where property values rose by the greatest amount indicated where consumers were motivated to buy homes, and a positive return on investment for homeowners in the community.
Finally, we calculated a property tax index, based on the criteria above. Counties with the highest scores were those where property tax dollars are going the furthest.