UPDATED december 2020
The Role of Equalization in Tennessee Property Tax Appeals
Equalization is a concept that is meant to ensure that property assessments are equitable so no one taxpayer is unfairly taxed on their property compared to their neighbor with comparable property.
In Tennessee, however, equalization arguments are generally insufficient to achieve value reductions. The standard for valuation in Tennessee is 100% of market value. The State Board of Equalization does not see reductions to below market value as consistent with that standard. Taxpayers are told that if the neighbor’s comparable property is appraised below 100% of its market value, then the only remedy is to raise the value of the neighbor’s property.
To prevail on an equalization argument in Tennessee, the taxpayer must show proof that the entire surrounding area of comparable property benefitted from systematic undervaluation, and that the taxpayer’s property somehow avoided that benefit. If a taxpayer believes that they have a strong equalization argument, they should seek the counsel of a property tax attorney.
Evans Petree PC
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)