February 23, 2024

Tornado victims urged to complete damage survey to see if they owe less in property taxes

CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Was your home or commercial building damaged in the Dec. 9 Clarksville tornado? If so, you may not owe as much this year in property taxes. Montgomery County Assessor of Property Erinne Hester is urging those affected to fill out a tornado damage assessment survey to find out.

Hester spoke before the County Commission Tuesday night and said the damage assessment survey will allow her office to configure the most accurate property value for the 2024 tax year. Hester explained that a damage assessment for FEMA is different from an assessment for property valuation.

“While we have all of the FEMA determinations in our office from work with EMA and PGIS, what we don’t have, but we’re working towards, is accurate information for someone to pay property taxes on. That’s a pretty big statement right there.”

She gave the following example: If a house shifted off its foundation by an inch or two, her office won’t be able to determine that by simply walking around the property or using aerial imagery. “That’s not necessarily something we’ll be able to see; we’re simply not trained to that level,” Hester said.

Through the Assessor of Property website, tornado victims can fill out the survey and leave a detailed account of damage sustained to their house or building. The next step is for a member of Hester’s team to reach out. Anyone who doesn’t have access to a computer can call her office at 931-648-5709.

“We need to start with that dialogue with the property owner,” Hester said. “Really, the property tax system in Tennessee is intended to be an interactive process with that property owner. If you received damage, please let us know so we can make sure you’re not paying more taxes on what you actually have as of Jan. 1.”

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