September 4, 2012
For years as I drove home from work, I passed a used car lot on Lamar that had a sign that said “We Tote The Note”.
Recently I asked the City and the County for information on property taxes for the fiscal year 2011 to see who totes the note locally. I wanted to know how much is paid by residential versus commercial, industrial, farm, exempt, multi and personalty.
The results for the City and the County are shown on the attached spreadsheet.
Here is what I take away from these figures.
We bill over $1 billion per year in property and personalty taxes. The residential taxpayers pay 55.5% of the local property taxes. It seems to me that we do not have the right mix of industrial and commercial versus residential. Also we have the Pilot tax abatements that lessen the taxes that should be paid by the commercial and industrial group. More on this subject soon. Following are the designations of some of the property tax classifications.
1. Exempt properties-Any real, personal or mixed use property must meet certain requirements in order to be classified as exempt. Examples of exempt properties would be those owned by government or properties that are used purely for religious, charitable, scientific, literary or educational purposes. Just because a property is owned by a church or school does not necessarily mean that it is exempt from taxation. The use of the property determines the taxation. In most cases the owner of property claiming exception must file an application for exemption with the State Board of Equalization. 2. Pilot contracts-The underlying properties involved in the Pilot agreement are generally exempted from taxation as the Pilot agreement becomes the basis for revenue generation for the County. 3. Multi use parcels-T.C.A. 67-5-801 (c)(1)-“Where a parcel of real property is used for more than one (1) purpose, which would result in different sub classifications and different assessment percentages, then it shall be apportioned among the subclasses according to guidelines established by rules and regulations of the state board of equalization.”