To pay your
Who is Your Blount County Trustee
Scott Graves is a life-long resident of Blount County and has been Blount County Trustee since September 1, 2000. He has a Master of Business Administration Degree (MBA) from Lincoln Memorial University and has over 23 years of work experience in the areas of Finance, Accounting, and Management.
Trustee's Primary Responsibilities
The Blount County Trustee manages a professional business office that collects and accounts for over $160 million annually in State, Federal, and local funds used to operate Blount County Government. The Trustee also manages the investment of temporarily idle funds and supervises the cash flow for Blount County Government. The Trustee is not responsible for setting the tax rate and is not responsible for property appraisals/assessments for tax purposes. The Trustee only collects Property Tax.
Trustee's Office Budget Facts
The Trustee's Office has always been conservative. It is a "fee office" meaning that it is designed by State law to operate using fees rather than Property Tax. The workload for the Office has increased tremendously over the past several years, but the number of employees has remained the same since 1990. Experienced employees, training, better technology, increased efficiencies, and hard work have enabled the Office to accomplish more with the same number of people. Also, the budget for the Trustee's Office decreased 2 years in a row (2011 & 2012 budget) while the Trustee's revenues (fees) increased during that same time period. The Trustee's Office 2013 budget is still lower than it was in 2010.
Property Tax & Other County Revenues
Property Tax revenues represent approximately 35 percent of the funds collected. State of Tennessee funds, which are primarily education dollars, represent another 35 percent of the revenue collected. Local Option Sales Tax, Gasoline Tax, Business Tax, Federal funds, Fees, Charges, and Fines represent the majority of the remaining 30 percent of the revenue. The Board of Commissioners decides each year where Property Tax dollars are spent. The following represents the split, in percentages, of each Property Tax dollar to be spent in FY2013-2014:
|General County Purposes||30%|
|Debt (capital projects - approximately 93% is education related)||20%|
Blount County Property Tax is collected annually by the Trustee’s Office. The Property Tax amount you pay is based on the fair market value of your property (appraisal/assessment set by the County) combined with the tax rate which is set each year by the Blount County Board of Commissioners. The Trustee is not responsible for setting the tax rate and is not responsible for property appraisals/assessments for tax purposes The Trustee only collects Property Tax.
Tax Notices are typically mailed in late September each year and are payable through the end of February. They become delinquent on March 1 each year. Please thoroughly review your tax notice as it provides much helpful information such as a discount for early payment. Tax Notices are not required by State law but are sent to you as a reminder. If you do not receive your notice(s) by October 10 of any given year, please notify our office (if your mortgage company pays your taxes, they should receive the notice). If you own multiple parcels of property, please make sure you receive all of your notices and pay for each one. Also, please notify us if your mailing address changes.
According to State Law, the official tax roll is as of January 1 of the tax year. If you buy or sell property during a tax year, the owner name on the official tax roll will be the owner as of January 1. We typically attempt to send a tax notice to the new owner as well as the former owner because we do not know who has been made responsible for the Property Tax at the closing of the sale. Normally, the taxes are prorated at closing and the buyer is made the responsible party. If you purchase property during the tax year and do not receive a tax notice, you may call our office any time and check the status of the property taxes.
Where to Pay Property Tax
For your convenience, the Trustee’s Office provides several locations to pay Property Tax which include the following (please have your tax notice(s) to ensure correct posting of your payment):
· Trustee’s Office on the 3rd Floor of the Courthouse on Court Street (in person or by mail)
· Internet payments with VISA or MasterCard through this website (a convenience fee applies - see below for explanation – Blount County Government does not benefit from this fee)
· Pay by Phone & E-Check will soon be available (a convenience fee will apply to these payment methods - Blount County Government will not benefit from these fees)
· Blount County Clerk satellite offices at Foothills Mall or Chamber of Commerce drive-thru – checks only, no cash at these locations
· Local banks (sorry but State law does not allow for tax payments at credit unions and also Capital Bank does not accept tax payments)
Convenience fees apply to payments with credit/debit cards, E-Check, and Pay by Phone. These fees are paid directly to the credit card companies, banks, and credit card vendors that process the payments. Blount County Government does not benefit from any of these fees. We charge exactly the amount of the fees that are paid. According to State law, the County has the option to pay the fee itself rather than passing the fee to the customer. Based on current usage, the annual fees would cost the County approximately $30,000 each year. If customers did not have to pay a fee, the usage would obviously increase so the cost to the County could be up to $80,000 each year. There are no funds in the Trustee's budget to cover the fees.
Property Tax Freeze Program
In July 2007, the State of Tennessee adopted a Property Tax Freeze Program for certain homeowners 65 years of age or older with a total combined annual income that does not exceed an amount set by State law each year. The Blount County Commission approved this new program for Blount County in December 2007. The role of the Trustee's Office is to accept annual applications from eligible homeowners who desire to have all or a portion of their county property taxes frozen. The following are some key details:
If you feel that you or someone you know may qualify for this program, please contact our office to get more details and to find out what documents we may need from you. For more information about the program, you may also visit the State's website at http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/pa/taxfreeze.asp.
State of Tennessee Property Tax Relief Program
The State of Tennessee offers a property tax rebate application for certain homeowners age 65 or older and whose total combined annual income from all sources for all owners (including spouse) is not over $27,800. A rebate may also be available to 100% totally and permanently disabled taxpayers who meet the same income limit, certain service connected 100% totally and permanently disabled veterans, or widows of certain service connected 100% totally and permanently disabled veterans that were eligible for the rebate or killed in action. The job of the Trustee's Office is to assist eligible homeowners with the application process. The job of the State of Tennessee is to make the final determination of eligibility. If you feel that you or someone you know may qualify for this program, please contact our office to get more details and to find out what documents we may need from you. For more information about the program, you may also visit the State's website at http://www.comptroller.tn.gov/pa/patxr.asp.
Managing the Money
According to State law, the Trustee uses accounts at each local bank and other lawful methods to manage the funds of Blount County Government. The investments, by law, are extremely safe while receiving the highest possible interest earnings. A record amount of $2.2 million in interest was earned for Blount County in Fiscal Year 2000-2001. Almost $2 million in interest was earned for Blount County in Fiscal Year 2006-2007. The Trustee also supervises the cash flow for Blount County Government. The Trustee has no direct control over spending within Blount County Government but does have to ensure that departments have the necessary cash in the bank to cover their expenditures.
Trustee’s Office Address, Phone Number, & Hours
The Blount County Trustee’s Office is located on the third floor of the Blount County Courthouse on Court Street. The office hours are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Feel free to call or come to the office any time. We will be happy to assist you.
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Site Updated: October 1, 2013