Saturday, December 16, 2023

Tennessee should pass a property tax cap

 From The Beacon Center Pork Report, Dec. 16, 2023- Tennessee gets a lot of things right, but when it comes to property taxes, the state has few friends to bond with. Tennessee is one of only four states that does not have some form of property tax cap to protect taxpayers, along with Hawaii, New Hampshire, and Vermont. We have all felt the pressures of inflation, but residents across Tennessee face the burden of huge increases in their property tax bill because there is no limit on how high local governments can go when it comes to raising property taxes. Just this year Rutherford County saw property tax rates go up 16 percent, Greene County saw a 30 percent increase, and Lincoln County a 37 percent increase. In Red Bank, just outside of Chattanooga, residents were dealt a whopping 52 percent tax hike.

These are just a few examples of property tax increases taking place this year. All across the state, local governments, both rural and urban, are passing massive property tax hikes instead of getting their financial health in order. Even small increases tied with sky-high assessments leave residents with less of their hard-earned dollars. Since Tennesseans are not afforded the same protections offered in 46 other states, these tax hikes are likely to continue, year after year. No one likes the tax man, but in almost every other state, residents know what to reasonably expect when the bill comes. But in Tennessee, this bill knows no limit.

SOLUTION: Despite fiscal conservatism and low taxes at the state level, Tennessee residents have felt few of these benefits when local governments pass massive tax increases. Policymakers should afford Tennesseans the same protections offered to residents in 46 other states by passing some form of property tax cap.

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