General Assembly Passes Property Tax Relief Bill For East Tennessee Fire Victims

This week in Nashville, House members passed legislation to provide additional support to East Tennessee families that had property damaged by wildfires that swept through Sevier County and surrounding areas last November.

The bill calls for prorating the 2016 tax assessment for a homeowner’s real property or a business owner’s personal property, if it sustained damaged from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) certified disaster area last year. House Bill 52 is modeled after similar legislation that granted tax relief to victims of the 2010 floods in Nashville.

The legislation would not become effective until it is approved by a two-thirds vote of the local governing body of the county or city in which the property is located. The new legislation would also require fire victims to provide a listing of the destroyed, demolished, or substantially damaged personal property for which the tax relief is sought.

If the tax computed for the 2016 tax year has already been paid by the property owner prior to proration, he or she would receive a refund under the new law.