Letter announces property tax increases

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"it just says, 'You are hereby notified. Your property has been changed,'" said Michael Axsmith, who recently received a letter from the Carter County Assessor's Office. He's one of 7,000 county residents who have been told their property value--and their property taxes--are on the rise.

But Axsmith isn't sure it's fair.

"Well, if we were told what it was for, and that particular reason was a good reason, I would say yes," said Axsmith.

The Carter County Assessor's Office said many of these letters have specific reasons listed, like improvements made to your property or your home. If a reason isn't listed it's likely due to increasing market value in the neighborhood. Whatever the case, the office is required by law to let taxpayers know.

"People that are on fixed incomes or have mortgages and escrow accounts can make the necessary adjustments so they don't have any differences at the end of the year," said Kerry Ross, first deputy assessor.

The tax increases for each resident vary, but most will go toward schools while the rest is split between higher education and the county itself.

The bottom of the letter explains how you can challenge the increase by filling out a form online and speaking with a judge.

Axsmith plans to protest his increase.

"If you don't fill it out, then you're just sitting by saying, 'Ok, go ahead,'" Axsmith said.

Taxpayers have 20 days from the postmarked date to start the process.

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