67-5-601 (c). General policy.
(c) (1) The general assembly finds that the increased market value of certain residential property zoned for commercial use has caused an increase in taxes to the extent that citizens are faced with the necessity of selling dwelling houses in which they have lived for many years. The general assembly finds that present use valuation has been extended to others, and is warranted under certain circumstances to relieve the burden of increased taxation to residential owners.
(2) It is the policy of this state that the owners of residential property who have lived on that property for a significant period of time should be allowed to continue to live on that property without a disproportionate increase in taxes due to the property being zoned for commercial use.
(3) For the purposes of this subsection:
- "Dwelling house" means a residence occupied by the owner of an estate in that property, with such residence being zoned for commercial use, used solely for residential purposes, and occupied by that owner or a person to whom the current owner is a lineal descendant for a period of twenty-five (25) years or more, together with the real estate upon which it is situated up to a maximum five (5) acres; and
- "Owner" means a citizen and resident of Tennessee who occupies the citizen's or resident's dwelling house, as opposed to occupying any other residence, for at least nine (9) months out of each calendar year.
(4) Any owner of a dwelling house may make application to the assessor of property of the county in which the property is located for its classification under this subsection. Property which has been determined by the assessor of property to qualify under this subsection shall be valued for ad valorem tax purposes at its market value for residential purposes. The assessment on such property shall include the entire year in which the land is classified under this subsection. Any person who is denied such classification shall have the same rights and remedies for appeal and relief as are provided taxpayers for any action of assessors of property.
(5) Should the use or ownership of the property change so that it no longer qualifies under this subsection, then the property owner shall have the duty of informing the assessor of property. Upon discovering that a property no longer qualifies for classification under this subsection, the assessor of property shall reclassify the property and shall value the same according to its current market value for subsequent tax years. In the event such change in use or ownership does not timely come to the attention of the assessor of property, and upon the assessor discovering that the property no longer qualifies, such reclassification shall affect each year that the property has failed to qualify, and the taxpayer shall be liable for the difference in taxes, including penalty and interest.
(6) It is the legislative intent that the twenty-five-year time period is an integral part of this subsection. If this provision is held by a court of competent jurisdiction to be an unreasonable classification or otherwise declared unconstitutional, then this entire subsection shall be null and void.