Washington County does better than many other Tennessee counties when it comes to property tax relief, Trustee Rick Storey told members of the county’s budget committee on Wednesday.
According to an informal survey of tax breaks being used across the state’s 95 counties, Storey, conducted by one of his colleagues in West Tennessee, said Washington County was in the top tier as the state was offered a 100% local compliance program for seniors and veterans.
He said Shelby County’s trustee Regina Newman received 76 responses to her survey, with 28 counties responding that they offer some sort of equivalent to the state’s tax break program. Washington County is among that 37% and has a dollar-to-dollar match with the state for tax breaks.
Storey told the Budget Committee that the county had budgeted $ 400,000 in 2021 to cover the local tax break game. Of that amount, the county has already used $ 146,000 to pay property tax bills.
In the fall, Washington County sent 2,500 vouchers to veterans and senior residents who had previously qualified for state property tax relief programs.
The state grants tax breaks to elderly and disabled property owners. To qualify, a homeowner must be 65 years of age or be completely and permanently disabled as assessed by the Social Security Agency or other related agency.
The annual income of all property owners applying for tax relief this year must be less than $ 31,190. The state pays up to $ 141 on an attendee’s tax bill, with Washington County playing an identical game.
Tennessee also offers property tax breaks to veterans and their widow or widower. Veterans must qualify through the state’s Department of Veterans Services to receive up to $ 845 from the state (along with a local game) on their property tax bills.
Some Tennessee counties only offer one local game for seniors or veterans, but not both. In Carter County, the trustee announced that his county offers 40 percent compliance with the state tax break program.
Sullivan County does not provide local compensation for tax relief.
The Shelby County’s trustee also asked her colleagues how many of them are in a state program that allows district committees to freeze property tax bills for seniors. Of the 67 responses she received, 20 counties said they participated in the program.
Washington County does not participate in the property tax freeze program.