Town’s residential properties show nearly 27-percent appreciation in recent assessment

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The Shelby County Tax Assessor’s Office began issuing property reappraisal values last month and residences in Collierville are up a staggering 26.8 percent compared to 2017. 

In fact, very few areas in the county have shown depreciation according to Melvin Burgess, assessor of property for Shelby County. 

With the recent 2021 reassessment, values in Collierville also increased by an average of 12.6 percent for commercial properties. 

When assessments were last done four years ago, the average appraised value in Collierville increased by $39,209 (or 24 percent). 

As a result of the increased values, the property tax rate in Collierville was lowered in 2017. The current tax rate for Collierville is $1.83 for every $1,000 of valuation. 

After 25 cents is taken out for the schools, and six cents for parks, the Town truly operates on a tax rate of $1.52. 

Residents across the county have been receiving mailers over the past few weeks notifying them of the reappraisal. 

Burgess knew last year that the elevated values would shock some residents, as increased values result in property higher taxes. 

“We knew there would be concerns from the residents,” he said last fall. “People are going to say, ‘Oh my goodness, my house note is going to go up.'” 

However, Burgess encouraged residents who feel that the reassessment is inaccurate to call the tax assessor’s office. 

“Help us get it right,” he said. “This is our time to get it right.”Burgess, who manages 158 employees, said that COVID-19 played a part in the elevated property values. 

“Inventory was definitely affected by the pandemic,” he noted. 

The price of a house is tied to the supply and demand for housing.

If there are fewer houses available, prospective buyers bid up the price in order to get one.

If fewer people are looking for a home, the price will drop because buyers have fewer competitors. COVID-19 has affected both supply and demand, according to Burgess. 

“A lack of inventory is going to affect values,” he added. 

Assessments are largely based on neighborhood comparisons.

“It’s about location, location, location,” Burgess said. 

Burgess said his department has worked to keep values “as close to market value as possible.” 

He reemphasized that residents who wish to appeal their appraisals have until June 30 to file with the Shelby County Board of Equalization. 

“Our goal is accuracy,” he said. “We value people over property.” 

Collierville Alderman Maureen Fraser, who is also a local realtor, said the town will take the reappraisal numbers into consideration when considering the town’s future property tax rate. 

She recently released the following information. 

“Using Collierville as an example, right now homeowners pay $1.83 for every $1,000 in ‘assessed’ home value, not the “market value” your home is likely to sell for,” she wrote. “With an increase in appraised value, the town’s tax rate, by state law, will need to be adjusted. “There is a statute requiring municipalities to roll back their tax rate to be revenue neutral as much as possible,” she added. “As a result, the rate per $1,000 in “assessed” value may go down as it did four years ago.”As the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, department heads, finance department, and town administrator meet, they will set Collierville’s tax rate taking these new values into account,” she concluded. “Budget discussions are completed and a budget adopted by town leaders before the end of the fiscal year on June 30. On July 1, the new annual budget for the town goes into effect. Keep in mind, if your assessment is higher than 26.8 percent, you may see a tax increase.”

For more information, go to www.assessormelvinburgess.com.

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