Jeffrey A. Smith serves as Gibson County Delinquent Tax Attorney, appointed by Leann Smith, Gibson County Trustee. Tennessee law subjects all real estate and business personal property (computers, furniture, tools, etc) to a property tax. Property taxes are the primary source of income for Tennessee counties. Tennessee law sets forth the manner and deadlines for payment of property taxes. It also provides procedures for the collection of delinquent taxes.
The rate at which property is taxed is set by the Gibson County Commission each year, usually at its July meeting. Property taxes for that year become payable October 1st of that year and become delinquent March 1st of the following year. If the taxes still have not been paid by February 1st of the next year, the County Trustee turns over a list to the Delinquent Tax Attorney who files a lawsuit against all delinquent taxpayers in Chancery Court. A summons and notice will be served on each delinquent taxpayer by certified mail. If the Post Office is unable to deliver the summons and notice by certified mail, the delinquent taxpayer may be served by publishing a notice in a local newspaper for 4 consecutive weeks. (Under Tennessee law, refusal to accept certified mail is the same as being served). If the taxes remain unpaid 30 days after the summons and notice have been served, the Delinquent Tax Attorney may seek a default judgment from the Chancery Court and proceed to sell the property at public sale in satisfaction of the unpaid taxes. Prior to selling property at a tax sale, the Delinquent Tax Attorney is required to research the public records of the county to determine if there are any liens on the property and, if so, to notify the lien holder (usually banks). A lien holder may pay the taxes to avoid it being sold.
For example, 2017 property taxes become payable October 1, 2017 and must be paid on or before February 28, 2018, If they are not paid by that date, the become delinquent and begin accruing interest and penalty. If they still have not been paid by March 1, 2019, the County Trustee will turn them over to the Delinquent Tax Attorney who will file a lawsuit against each taxpayer on the list.
If a property is sold at a delinquent tax sale, Tennessee law allows the delinquent taxpayer to “redeem” the property by paying the outstanding taxes, penalties, interest, attorney’s fees and interest to the purchaser of the property. A lien holder may also redeem the property. The period in which redemption is allowed is 1 year from the date of the delinquent tax sale. If the property has not been redeemed by that time, the property becomes the property of the tax sale purchaser or county.
Upcoming Delinquent Tax Sales
There are no delinquent tax sales currently scheduled.
Jeffery A. Smith Attorney At Law
110 NW Court Sq
Trenton, TN 38382
Trenton, TN 38382