Sullivan County property tax notices are in the mail

J. H. Osborne • Oct 13, 2017 at 5:00 PM

BLOUNTVILLE — If you own property in Sullivan County, you should soon receive a tax notice in the mail.

The county began mailing the notices Thursday, Trustee Frances Harrell said.

To avoid interest and potential penalties, property owners must pay those taxes (which cover the period of Jan. 1, 2017, through Dec. 31 2017) by the end of February 2018.

However, taxes are considered due upon receipt.

And the sooner payments begin to roll in, the better for county government’s cash flow.

Failing to receive a tax notice or disputing a property’s assessed worth are not excuses for failing to pay on time.

If you do not have a mortgage and do not receive a notice, contact the trustee’s office at 323-6464.

If you’ve moved during the past year and do not receive a tax notice on properties you own, it might mean you need to update the information on file with the property assessor’s office, Harrell said.

To do so, call 323-6455.

Property owners with questions about their bill need to make inquiries with Harrell’s office before the payment deadline.

The office also typically gets numerous calls from people with questions about a state program that provides tax relief for elderly or disabled property owners, Harrell said.

The requirements for the rebate program for taxes are:

— You owned and lived in the home as your main residence in 2017.

— You must be 65 years old on or before Dec. 31, 2017, or you must be totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or other qualified agency on or before Dec. 31, 2017.

— Income for all property owners for the year 2016 must be less than $29,180 total.

Harrell said all those requirements must be met for participation in the tax rebate program.

A similar tax relief program is available to eligible 100 percent disabled veterans and their widows or widowers.

The trustee’s office at the historic Sullivan County Courthouse in Blountville is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Offices are also located at the Bristol Justice Center and at Kingsport City Hall. They have the same operating hours as the Blountville office; however, due to staffing levels, the Bristol office closes for lunch from 12 p.m. to 1 p.m.

Drop boxes are located at the Blountville and Kingsport offices.

To receive a receipt for payments put in drop boxes or mailed, taxpayers must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope, Harrell said.

Online payments are accepted at www.tennesseetrustee.com.

Harrell’s office also offers partial payment plans for property owners who want to pay their taxes in installments, — but the total must be paid in full by the deadline to avoid interest.

Sullivan County’s property tax rate is $2.55 per $100 of assessed value.

That’s projected to generate roughly $94.73 million in revenue, based on a collection rate of 96 percent, according to the county’s current budget.

School systems in the county get the lion’s share of property tax dollars — $50.26 million of the revenue goes to general school funding, and another $3.45 million goes for school capital projects.

Property tax revenue directed to school funding is split with city systems within the county because city residents pay county property taxes.

The county’s general fund — which includes the budgets for such services as law enforcement, courts, elections, the health department, emergency medical service and county government — accounts for the next biggest chunk from property tax revenue, about $29.35 million.