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Sullivan property tax deadline looms

J. H. Osborne • Updated Feb 11, 2019 at 9:12 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — If you’re a Sullivan County property owner and you haven’t paid your 2018 county property taxes, time is running out to do so before late fees kick in.

The deadline is Feb. 28. Penalties will be charged beginning March 1 at a rate of 1.5 percent per month.

If you are eligible for but not yet enrolled in the state’s property tax relief program for elderly or disabled property owners, you still have time to sign up in regard to your county tax bill.

The requirements for the rebate program for taxes are:

• You owned and lived in the home as your main residence in 2018.

• You must have been 65 years old on or before Dec. 31, 2018, or you must have been totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or other qualified agency on or before Dec. 31, 2018.

• Income for all property owners for the year 2017 must be less than $29,270 total.

Each requirement must be met for participation in the tax rebate program.

A similar tax relief program is available to eligible 100 percent disabled veterans and their widows or widowers.

You can view your taxes and pay them online by credit card, debit card or check at www.tennesseetrustee.com. The use of a credit card incurs a 2.75 percent fee. Paying online by electronic check costs $2.75.

The trustee’s office at the historic Sullivan County Courthouse in Blountville is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Due to ongoing road construction, State Route 126 in front of the courthouse is one way — headed from the Bristol end toward the Kingsport end. But parking is available in front of the courthouse and in the rear parking lot. 

Offices are also located at the Bristol Justice Center and at Kingsport City Hall. Hours of operation at those offices are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Drop boxes are located outside the Blountville and Kingsport offices.

Sullivan County Trustee Susan Ramsey said all tax payments mailed and postmarked by Feb. 28 will be counted as on time. To receive a receipt for payments, taxpayers need to include a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

County taxes are assessed on all parcels within the county — including those inside cities.

Sullivan County’s 2018 property tax rate is $2.55 per $100 of assessed value.

Property taxes are projected to generate nearly $94.97 million in revenue for the county, based on a collection rate of 96 percent, according to the county’s current budget.

School systems in the county get the lion’s share of property tax dollars — $50.39 million of the revenue goes to general school funding which is split between the county school system and city systems in Bristol and Kingsport because city residents pay county property taxes. The split is based on the number of students in each system. Another $3.46 million goes to school renovations, and this year the county is not sharing that money with the cities.

The county’s general fund — which includes the budgets for such services as law enforcement, courts, elections, the health department, emergency medical service and county government — accounts for the next biggest chunk from property tax revenue, at about $29.42 million.

Debt service costs taxpayers $8.19 million.

County property taxes are estimated to generate about $2.79 million for the Sullivan County Highway Department, which performs no work inside the cities.

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