DeKalb Property Owners May Now Pay Taxes On-Line

October 27, 2010
by: 
Dwayne Page
Sean Driver

DeKalb County property owners may now pay their taxes by debit or credit card either in the Trustee's office or on-line at www.tennesseetrustee.com.

Trustee Sean Driver said many taxpayers have requested the service and he is happy to be able to offer it as an extra convenience. "I was watching as people would come in to the office and it was getting to be one in five people wanting to use that debit or credit card. I knew we would eventually have to go to it so for the 2010 tax year we're up and running. We are now offering credit and debit card processing through the Business Information Systems for the property owners of DeKalb County. You may pay your property taxes using a VISA, MASTERCARD, or DISCOVER card. It can be handled on-line, in the Trustee's Office, or by phone."

Driver explained that a 2.75% convenience fee will be added to your tax bill, if you take advantage of on-line payment, but the county does not collect it. "In no way is that 2.75% fee collected through the county. The Business Information Systems sets this up for us as Trustees throughout the state. Sixty four of the state's ninety five counties take advantage of this. So the convenience fee of 2.75% is added to your bill and collected by the Business Information Systems. You can pay your bill on-line but you can also go on there and select "DEKALB COUNTY" and look up your tax bill and your appraisal values."

"If you want to do those payments on line, it is fast, easy, and secure. On-line payments may be made at www.tennesseetrustee.com. 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You may also pay your taxes in our office at 1 public square, room 206 in the DeKalb County Courthouse. Our phone number is 615-597-5176. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m."

Driver said 2010 DeKalb County property tax notices were mailed out on October 19th and taxes may now be paid without penalty through February 28th, 2011. "We mailed them out on the 19th. We received the cards on September 29th but it takes about two and a half weeks to work those so we mailed them out on the 19th and we have been working steady since."

Seniors, be sure to check with the office on the state property tax relief program. The income limit is $26,830 for single or combined household incomes.

Trustee Driver said Tennessee's tax relief program is state-funded and provides a rebate of credit for all or a portion of the property taxes on residential property owned and occupied by low-income elderly, low-income disabled, and disabled veteran homeowners and their surviving spouses.

"In order for the elderly to apply for tax relief, you must be age 65 on or before December 31st, 2010 to meet the elderly requirements. To be a disabled applicant, you must be 100% disabled as deemed by the Social Security Administration or some administration thereof. Disabled veterans can get a tax relief as well. They do not have to report their income but they have to be 100% disabled as deemed by the Veterans Administration. We can sign you up now through April 5th, 2011. Remember, whenever you get ready to pay your taxes, the taxes must be paid in full before we can ever submit your application to the state (for property tax relief).This year the income limit to apply, using your 2009 income including income from all owners, is $26,830. That's using all sources of income in 2009. You will be applying for 2010 tax relief using 2009 income."

According to Driver, the law now requires applicants to include their spouses income when seeking state property tax relief.

"This is a state property tax relief program through the State of Tennessee and this year, under new legislation passed by the state, if you are legally married and your spouse's name is not on the deed, you are still required to submit your spouse's 2009 income. In the past you did not have to do that but now if your spouse's name is not on the deed, whether living with you or not living with you, you are required this year to submit your spouse's income."

Driver added that all applicants previously approved for state property tax relief will get a little extra relief thanks to the county commission. "All applicants that are state approved will get a $50 county match off of their tax bill. This year all applicants are getting $91 off along with an extra $50 off for a total of $141. "

Property Tax Relief Eligibility requirements for Elderly Homeowners are as follows:

Must be 65 or older on or before December 31st, 2010
Must provide evidence of age (i.e. driver's license, birth certificate, marriage license)
Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence
Qualified applicants will receive property tax relief on the first $25,000 of their property's market value.
According to the deed of the property, Must have records of the combined 2009 income of all owners of the property not exceeding $26,830. Income (i.e. social security, SSI pension, etc)

Eligibility requirements for Disabled Homeowners are as follows:

Must have been totally and permanently disabled as rated by the Social Security Administration or any other qualified agency on or before December 31st, 2010
Must provide evidence of age (i.e. driver's license, birth certificate, marriage license)
Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence
Must have records of the combined 2009 income of all owners of the property not exceeding $26,830

Eligibility requirements for Disabled Veteran Homeowners and/or widow or widower:

Must own and use the property on which you are applying as your primary residence.
Your disability must meet one of the following categories:
A service-connected disability that resulted in (1) Paraplegia, (2) Permanent paralysis of both legs and lower part of the body resulting from traumatic injury or disease to the spinal cord or brain, (3) Loss or loss of use of, two or more limbs, and (4) Legal blindness.

A total and permanent disability rating from a service-connected disability

A 100% total and permanent disability rating from being a prisoner of war.

The Veteran's Administration Office determines eligibility from the applicant's information in the Trustee's Office forwarded to the State of Tennessee.

If you meet these requirements you may apply in the Trustee's Office as soon as you receive your property tax bill. The deadline to apply is 35 days after February 28th, 2011 or April 5th, 2011.

If you have any additional questions concerning the tax relief program, come by the Trustee's office in the courthouse or call 597-5176.

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