Key House Republicans Pass Legislation Providing Property Tax Relief To East Tennessee Fire Victims
Monday evening, House members unanimously passed legislation co-sponsored by Representative Dale Carr (R-Sevierville) and Representative Andrew Farmer (R-Sevierville) that provides additional support to East Tennessee families whose properties were damaged by last November’s wildfires.
House Bill 52 calls for prorating the 2016 tax assessment for a homeowner’s real property or business owner’s personal property, if it was damaged as a result of a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certified disaster between Sept. 1, 2016, and Dec. 31, 2016. The bill is modeled after similar legislation that provided relief to the victims of the 2010 floods in Nashville.
“As the residents in the eastern part of our state continue to put their lives back together, we want to do all we can to support their recovery efforts,” said House Speaker Beth Harwell (R-Nashville). “By providing property tax relief, we hope we’ve encouraged them to move toward a brighter future for themselves and their families.”
“Our communities have suffered tremendous loss and hardship due to the tragic circumstances surrounding this natural disaster,” said Representative Carr. “The passage of this bill enables us to help those who are suffering in a small way through a very difficult time.”
“It is imperative that we support the residents in communities that were ravaged by the tragic wildfires by passing this legislation,” said Representative Farmer. “This bill will help further expedite the rebuilding process so that our region can come back stronger than ever before.”
House Bill 52 would not become effective until approved by a two-third vote of the local governing body of the county and/or city in which the property is located. If the tax computed for the 2016 tax year has been paid prior to the proration, the victim would receive a refund. The legislation is retroactive to January 1, 2016. The owner must provide the assessor a listing of the destroyed, demolished or substantially damaged personal property for which the tax relief is sought. The owner would also be required to apply to the assessor for the relief by Sept. 1, 2017 in order to be eligible.
The full text of House Bill 52 can be accessed by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://www.capitol.tn.gov/Bills/110/Bill/HB0052.pdf