There is help available for homeowners

When, or if, county budget passes, relief can be found

While a property tax rate increase is likely in Anderson County, Anderson County Trustee Regina Copeland wants homeowners to know that there are options available if an increase is too much of a financial burden.

Sign-ups for a tax freeze and tax relief will take place in October of this year at the trustee’s office at the Anderson County courthouse.

“Taxes must be current and paid in full to be eligible for the tax relief program,” said Copeland.

A tax freeze freezes your current tax rate at what you pay now, even if county commission decides to make an increase later. Since sign-ups are in October, there’s no way to avoid the tax increase that could pass this month, but those seeking a tax freeze would be locked in for the next year.

To qualify, the property owner must be 65 years old by Dec. 31, 2019, must live on the property and must provide their 2018 income. The income limit is $41,840.

Three different categories of residents qualify for the tax relief program: the elderly (65 and older), the disabled and veterans or veterans’ widows. The income limit is $29,860 for the elderly and the disabled, and you must be 100-percent disabled according to the VA if you are applying as a veteran.

There is no income limit for disabled veterans.

Copeland has also launched a program through TN Bank that will allow property owners to prepay their taxes if they don’t qualify for any type of relief. That breaks the payments into monthly chunks.

“That way it doesn’t hit them all at once,” Copeland said.

Property taxes are the county’s primary source of funding, and all these programs are designed to encourage fewer delinquent accounts.

The county is reimbursed by the state for the tax relief options.

If property owners qualified last year, they will still have to reapply every year.

For more information, call the trustee’s office at 865-457-6233.