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Elderly property owners at risk to lose tax breaks

Thousands haven't re-enrolled
Posted at 11:04 PM, Feb 25, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-26 00:05:02-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — Thousands of older Nashvillians are eligible to get a break on their property tax bills, but many haven't re-enrolled in the program and the deadline is quickly approaching.

April 5th is when the Metro Trustee's Office needs the forms from the tax relief and tax freeze programs.

If you don't want to pay interest you should have it in by this Friday.

“The neighborhood has changed in a number of ways, we're getting a lot of newer people in here.”

When Susan Heffernon bought her home 15 years ago she paid just $89,000. The land is now worth nearly four times the price.

“The latest estimate, here we go, was 346,000; $346,000,” said Heffernon.

Now she believes the high prices are driving people out of the area.

“Unfortunately, I believe it's crowding some of the older residents out and that's I why we're talking about this tax freeze,” Heffernon said.

The tax freeze is just one of the Metro Trustee's office tax relief programs to prevent folks like Heffernon and older, low-income property owners from being driven from their homes due to a sharp increase in the value of their land over the years.

But in order to save on prices, recipients have to re-enroll in the programs every year. So far, many haven't re-enrolled.

“Three thousand of those renewals are missing,” said Terri Dorsey with Metro Trustee outreach.

Heffernon says she thinks so many renewals are missing because people are confused about the paperwork or how the program works.

And that seemed to be the case for those who stopped by or called the trustee's office today.

“All they have to do is take the form that they got in their tax bill and fill it out and sign it and turn it back in; that's all they have to do,” said Dorsey.

The Metro Trustee's Office will be sending courtesy reminders out and possibly making phone calls.

But again, that deadline is April 5th or this Friday to avoid paying the interest charge.