Federal Agents Search Former Property Assessor’s Home - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

NC5 Investigates: Putnam Property Assessor

Federal Agents Search Former Property Assessor’s Home

Posted: Updated: Dec 13, 2012 10:00 PM

By Ben Hall
Investigative Reporter

COOKEVILLE, Tenn.- NewsChannel 5 Investigates has confirmed federal agents served a search warrant on the home of former Putnam County Property Assessor Rhonda Chaffin.

Agents from the FBI and IRS searched her Cookeville home yesterday.

The federal investigation follows our reports which revealed Chaffin's office depreciated several apartment complexes and private homes by large amounts.

The depreciation meant the owners paid less in property in property taxes.

After our investigation, the state Comptroller determined that Chaffin's office undervalued nearly 200 properties, owned by some of the county's wealthiest citizens, by more than $80 million.

The state notified those property owners that they owe back taxes this fall, and almost all of them have appealed.

Chaffin was property assessor for more than 12 years before losing re-election in August.

Chaffin and her attorney did not return our calls, but told their local newspaper the agents removed computers, a zip drive and receipts from Chaffin's home.

Email: bhall@newschannel5.com

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