Appraisal & Assessment
The Wilson County Property Appraisal & Assessment Department is responsible for the annual valuation of all taxable real and personal property in Wilson County.
What's the difference between appraisal and assessment?
The appraisal is the fair market value of the property. It is an estimate of value based on information gathered by the appraiser, a process that starts with inspection of the property, then comparing that property to recent sales of similar properties, located as close to the subject property as possible.
An assessment is a percentage of the appraised value. It is used to calculate property taxes. Assessments are done on a town-wide basis usually for purposes of equitably levying taxes. Revaluations of a town's residential properties reflect ongoing market factors to establish current values. An assessment ratio means that your property may only be 80% of what was determined to be the fair market value when the valuation was done.
Any property owner who believes that the classification or value assigned to their property by the Assessor of Property is incorrect has the right to appeal that assessment and be heard regarding their opinion of value. Many times a phone call or visit to the Assessor of Property Office can clear up administrative errors or answer questions an owner may have about how the value was developed. If after discussing the complaint with the Assessor of Property, a property owner wishes to file a formal appeal of their property assessment, the County Board of Equalization is the next step in that process.
County Board of Equalization
The County Board of Equalization is the first level of administrative appeal for complaints regarding the assessment, classification, and valuation of property for tax purposes. It consists of five (5) property owners selected from different parts of the county to serve two year terms. The board consists of (1) member from the City of Lebanon, (1) from the City of Mt. Juliet and (3) from the county. The board’s duties include examining and equalizing county property assessments, ensuring that all taxable properties are included on the assessment rolls, eliminating exempt properties from taxation, hearing complaints from property owners/taxpayers, decreasing values of over-assessed property, increasing values of under-assessed property, and correcting clerical mistakes.
The County Board of Equalization meets beginning the 1st day of June each year and remains in session until that year’s equalization is complete. Approximately ten days prior to the board convening, the Assessor of Property will publish a public notice in the local newspaper detailing the dates, time, and place the board will be meeting to hear appeals. The procedure for property owners to make an appointment will also be stated in the notice, but normally consists of making a request by phone or in person at the Assessor’s office during the last week of May or the first week of June.
As a property owner, you have the right to appear in person, or have a family member, attorney or duly authorized agent appear on your behalf. You will be required to complete a form in the Assessor's office, so you should arrive approximately fifteen minute prior to your appointment. You also have the right to bring witnesses who can provide relevant information about your property. However, any evidence you present should refrain from discussing the property taxes or your ability to pay them, as the board is exclusively concerned with fair and equitable property values.
After hearing all of the evidence, the board will make a decision as soon as possible and results will be mailed to the property owner. This normally occurs prior to the end of June. If the property owner is still not satisfied with the decision of the county board, the next step is to carry the appeal to the State Board of Equalization. The decision letter from county board will contain directions on how to file an appeal with the State Board of Equalization. By law that appeal must be made prior to 1 August or 45 Days after the County Board’s letter is mailed, whichever is later.