The Board of Equalization

The county board of equalization is the first level of review for property tax assessments in Tennessee. The Sumner County Board of Equalization consists of five members appointed by the County Commission for two year terms. The appointments are made at the April session of the commission in each even numbered year. The county board can review and change assessments on its own (after notice to affected taxpayer whose assessment is increased), but generally it acts only after receiving a complaint from taxpayers who believe their assessments are too high. The board has the advantage of being familiar with local properties and economic circumstances affecting values; but it has the disadvantage of being subject to pressures from neighbors and local officials with whom its members must come in daily contact. Like most bodies exercising judicial or quasi-judicial authority, the county board must resist undue pressures by focusing on its responsibility to act only on the basis of relevant and competent evidence properly before it. Although its actions are subject to review by the State Board of Equalization, the county board is the quickest and most convenient forum for taxpayers to complain. The performance of the county board will likely leave a lasting impression with each taxpayer.

It is important to note that when meeting with the board of equalization, there is no discussion of taxes as their only authority rest with determining the value of the property.

The Appeal Process

Assessor of Property
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Local Board of Equalization
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Administrative Law Judge
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Assessment Appeals Commission
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State Board of Equalization
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Courts