Tax bills going out to Washington County residents

Robert Houk • Oct 24, 2019 at 8:00 AM

Tax notices will be mailed early next week to Washington County property owners.

Washington County Trustee Rick Storey said the bills will cover more than 64,500 parcels in the county. Taxpayers have until Feb. 29 to pay their 2019 bills without penalty. Beginning March 1, a 1.5% monthly late fee will be charged to unpaid bills.

Storey said his office has seen an increase in recent years in the number of taxpayers paying their bills online. They can do so by going to washingtoncountytn.org and clicking on the trustee’s link.

The trustee said many residents still prefer to send their checks by mail, or make their payments in person at one of his office’s two locations in the Washington County Courthouse, Jonesborough, and the County Clerk/Trustee office at 378 Marketplace Blvd., Suite 1, Johnson City.

The city of Johnson City mailed its tax bills to property owners earlier this month. City taxpayers have until Dec. 31 to settle their tax bills without a penalty.

Johnson City residents can pay their property taxes in person at the city’s Municipal and Safety Building, 601 E. Main St., or online at johnsoncitytn.org.

The Washington County Trustee’s office now allows taxpayers to make partial payments on their tax bills — paying in monthly increments instead of one lump sum — up to the penalty deadline. Storey said the county also allows monthly pre-payments on the next year’s property taxes. 

The state provides property tax relief to elderly and disabled property owners. To qualify, a homeowner must be 65, or be totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or other related agency.

Annual income for all property owners applying for tax relief must be less than $29,860. The state will pay as much as $153.70 on a participant’s tax bill, with the county making a similar match.

Tennessee also offers property tax relief for veterans and their widows or widowers. Veterans must qualify through the state’s Department of Veterans Services to be eligible to receive up to $975.14 from the state (along with a local match) for their property tax bills.

Property tax bills are calculated on state-mandated reappraisals that are used to set the assessed property tax values of houses and businesses. Property owners have a right to appeal all new appraisals to the county’s Equalization Board.

Following such reappraisals, state law requires county commissioners to recertify the property tax rate — based on the amount of new dollars taken in under the reappraisals — to match the same amount of tax dollars collected under the last tax rate adopted by the county. In June, Washington County commissioners set the county’s property tax rate at $2.15 for every $100 of assessed value for the 2019 fiscal year year.

Meanwhile, Johnson City commissioners set a municipal property tax rate of  $1.71 for every $100 of assessed value.