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More tax relief for seniors enacted during the 2012 General Assembly!
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Welcome to Tennesseniors.com where information for "senior citizens" is readily available.

We have accomplished much in the last few years, such as setting up a credit freeze system to protect you against identity theft and enacting the property tax relief for those 65 and over.

As for the future, I continue working to reduce the sales tax on food, improve home and community-based care as an alternative to nursing homes, improve senior citizen centers, and find incentives for long term care insurance.

I hope this site will be useful to you as these things develop. Please check back often and stay in touch with me.

Respectfully,

Senator Mark Norris

 

Demand Tax Relief

As our counter shows, more local governments have adopted the senior citizen property tax freeze. I commend those that have enacted this important program. Now, I need your help to encourage other counties and municipalities in Tennessee to adopt the freeze. We should lead them to see that this plan is simple, affordable, and makes sense. I ask that YOU contact your County Commissioner and/or City Councilman or Alderman today and let them know that the property tax freeze is awaiting their action to benefit your community. The time is now!

To find the addresses of your city and county officials, you can look them up at the following web sites:

For city/municipal officials, click here.

For county officials, click here.



Resources for Storm Damage Victims and Those Who Wish to Help

County-by-County Emergency Management/Civil Defense Offices
TN Alliance for Legal Services’ Disaster Legal Assistance Hotline 1-888-395-9297
HUD’s directory of shelters and emergency housing in Tennessee
Feeding America’s database of Tennessee food banks
Disaster Assistance.gov

 

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) 1-800-621-3362
Tennessee Emergency Management Agency (TEMA) 1-800-258-3300
TEMA on Facebook
TEMA Donation Help-Line 1-866-586-4483
The American Red Cross 1-800-REDCROSS
The Salvation Army 1-800-SAL-ARMY

TN Department of Commerce & Insurance

Insurance Issue
Non-Insurance Issues
To Verify Vendors/Contractors

 

1-800-342-4029
1-800-342-8385
1-800-544-7693


 

Free Radon Test Kits Available to Tennesseans

The Tennessee Department of Environment & Conservation is making home radon test kits available, free of charge, to citizens who apply for them through the Department's website.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in America and the #1 cause of lung cancer in non-smokers.  Tennesseniors owe it to themselves to check their homes for improper levels of this naturally-occurring gas.  Click here to learn more and apply for a free radon test kit.



Tennessee Energy Efficiency Appliance Rebate Program

Beginning August 24, 2010, the purchase of a new energy-efficient appliance for your home may qualify you for a special rebate.  The TN Dept. of Economic & Community Development, through the U.S. Dept. of Energy, is taking applications for this money-saving, evergy-conserving program which is open to all home owners and renters in the state of Tennessee.  To learn more, visit http://teearp.efi.org/


You May Qualify for Energy Efficient Weatherization Assistance

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 Weatherization Assistance Program will make about $100 million available to eligible Tennesseans to help reduce energy costs by providing assistance to weatherize their homes.  It will allow an average investment of up to $6,500 per home in energy efficiency upgrades and will be available for families making up to 200% of the federal poverty level, which is $44,100 a year for a family of four, or $29,140 for a family of two.  The improvements are estimated to reduce home heating bills by an average of 32%. 

In Tennessee, the Weatherization Assistance Program is available in all 95 counties and is administered by local agencies.  Eligible households with elderly, disabled, or young children are given priority for service. 

If you have questions regarding eligibility or applying for the program, contact one of the agencies below.

   

 

For Shelby County residents:  

Shelby County Community Services Agency
Memphis, Tennessee 38103-0513
Brenda Murphy, Coordinator
Brenda.Murphy@shelbycountytn.gov
(901) 545-4630
Fax: (901) 545-3592
www.shelbycountytn.gov  
(731) 364-3228
Fax: (731)364-5163
www.nwcommunityaction.org

For Dyer County residents:

Northwest Tennessee Economic Development Council   
231 S. Wilson Street
Dresden, Tennessee 38225
Don Ridgeway, Executive Director
Kathey Cooper, Coordinator
kathey_cooper@yahoo.com

For Tipton and Lauderdale County residents:

Delta Human Resources Agency
P. O. Box 634 - 915 Highway 51 South
Covington, Tennessee 38019
Gloria Williams, Coordinator
gloria.v.williams@state.tn.us
(901) 476-5226
Fax: (901) 476-5258

     

Freeze much-needed for our graying state

By STATE SEN. MARK NORRIS • Tennessean.com

In a poignant moment in his State of the State address last January, Gov. Phil Bredesen acknowledged his mother's desire to stay in her home:

"I've seen how much you want to be in your own home; I know how difficult that would have been … without some help. … If you want to stay in your home … this is the year we're going to start making it easier."

Actually, the General Assembly began the long process of making it easier for senior citizens on fixed incomes to stay in their homes three years ago. Unfortunately, the majority of local municipal and county governments in Tennessee have yet to do so.

I proudly sponsored the referendum to amend our state constitution permitting local governments to freeze property taxes in 2005. Nearly 1.4 million Tennesseans ratified the constitutional amendment in 2006. The following year, I sponsored the enabling legislation, the Property Tax Freeze Act of 2007, for cities and counties to put the freeze in place. Seniors with combined incomes below the median income of their county of residence qualify, but it is all to no avail if their local elected officials fail to adopt the program.

The recent state Senate passage of the The Long-Term Care Community Choices Act of 2008 is the latest chapter in "the graying of Tennessee." As we age, it is increasingly important our homes not be taken for taxes. This is especially true when it comes to health care and our efforts to provide more cost-effective and better care in that home as opposed to a nursing home.

Local officials should act

Despite the recognition that home- and community-based care are preferable to institutionalized care, and notwithstanding the fact that nearly 83 percent of Tennesseans voted to make local property tax freezes for senior citizens a reality, city and county governments are moving very slowly to embrace the need. As of this writing, only 14 local governments across the state have done so.

Some local governments' excuse for not adopting tax relief is a concern that doing so for seniors shifts tax burdens to younger Tennesseans. But consider the costs if they don't.

For every dollar that could be spent serving the elderly and people with disabilities at home, Tennessee currently spends $149 on nursing-home care alone. The annual cost of nursing-home care exceeds $58,000 per person compared to $36,000 for home and community-based care. Nursing-home care now costs Tennesseans nearly $1 billion per year. With the population of senior citizens projected to double to more than 1.5 million in the next 15 years, that is the cost that should concern local governments the most.

Adopting the property tax freeze for seniors should be a priority for local governments. It is an integral part of our effort to preserve the home, improve the quality of life for an increasing number of Tennesseans, and respect the dignity of those who have earned it.


Time Is Now for Property Tax Relief

by Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris

The Property Tax Freeze Act of 2007 is now law, and it is time to urge your local elected officials to adopt it.

For the first time in Tennessee history, 65 year olds earning less than the County’s median income for 65 year olds and older can qualify to have their city and county property taxes frozen against future increases – whether from reappraisals, reassessments or outright tax hikes.

There’s just one thing. Your city council or county commission must vote to participate in the program first. Property tax relief is available beginning January 2008 for those who act now.

For over six years, I lead the effort to amend our State Constitution to make it easier for senior citizens to keep their homes in later life. I believe seniors on fixed incomes should not have to sacrifice buying prescription medications just to pay increased taxes, nor should they otherwise worry over how to make ends meet without selling their home.

1.3 million Tennesseans supported my efforts last November when 83% voted in favor of Amendment 2. This year, with a clear mandate, we codified the procedure making the Property Tax Freeze Act reality.

Regulations governing the tax freeze will be adopted by the State Board of Equalization on September 17, 2007. But the Attorney General recently ruled that counties or municipalities may adopt the tax freeze even before the regulations are promulgated. Davidson County has already done so.

That’s why I am writing now; to encourage you to urge your city council members (if you live in Memphis), aldermen if you live elsewhere, and county commissioners to participate. Now is the time to ask candidates for election to city boards in upcoming elections whether they will vote to participate in the property tax freeze for seniors.

Some younger elected officials in Memphis don’t seem to care about tax relief for seniors. One was recently reported to have said, “I’m a long way from 65, but I have two kids to raise.” He worries what additional cost he might bear. But a recent study by the AARP Public Policy Institute confirms that senior citizens in Tennessee bear the brunt of the property tax burden.

With increasing emphasis on home and community based care, it only makes sense to do everything we can to respect the dignity and independence of our seniors by helping them keep their homes.


The proposed Rules governing eligibility and enforcement under the Property Tax Freeze Act will be considered on September 17, 2007:
Click here to read the Notice of Rulemaking Hearing Tennessee State Board of Equalization


Complete Text of the Property Tax Freeze Act - PUBLIC CHAPTER NO. 581 PDF

Attorney General's opinion March 23, 2007 PDF
Attorney General's opinion July 17, 2007 PDF Introduction to the Property Tax Freeze

Background

In November 2006, Tennessee voters approved an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution authorizing a property tax freeze for elderly homeowners. This amendment to Article II, Section 28 of the Tennessee Constitution gives the General Assembly the authority by general law to authorize counties and municipalities to implement a local option property tax freeze for taxpayers 65 years of age or older.

In its 2007 session, the 105th General Assembly enacted the Property Tax Freeze Act (Senate Bill 2 / House Bill 1033) which establishes the tax freeze.  Under the Act, the legislative body of any county or municipality is authorized to adopt the property tax freeze program. The Act becomes effective on July 1, 2007.Provisions

Homeowners qualifying for the program will have the property taxes on their principal residence frozen at a base tax amount, which is the amount of taxes owed in the year they first qualify for the program. Thereafter, as long as the owner continues to qualify for the program, the amount of property taxes owed for that property will not change, even if there is a property tax rate increase.

In order to qualify, the homeowner must file an application annually and must:

  • Own their principal place of residence in a participating county and/or cityBe 65 years of age or older by the end of the year in which the application is filed
  • Have an income from all sources that does not exceed the county income limit established for that tax year

In counties and municipalities participating in the Tax Freeze Program, application may be made to the county Trustee or city collecting official.

The state Comptroller’s Office will calculate the income limit for each county annually using a formula outlined in state law.

Situations where the base tax amount would change for a homeowner are:

  • When improvements are made to the property resulting in an increase in its value
  • When the homeowner sells their home and purchases another residence

The tax freeze is available only on the principal place of residence of the qualifying homeowner located in a participating county or city. There are limitations on the amount of land that can be included for residential purposes in the program, and the program does not apply to portions of the property not used for residential purposes.

Tax Freeze Income Limits 2010 PDF     Tax Freeze Income Limits 2010 Map PDF



9A Legislative Plaza,
Nashville, Tennessee 37243-0232
Phone 615-741-1967
1-800-449-8366
sen.mark.norris@capitol.tn.gov

State of Tennessee
Office of the Attorney General
P.O. BOX 20207
NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE 37202
March 23, 2007
Opinion No. 07-33
Property Tax Relief for the Elderly PDF File


 
 

SeniorBsafe
- A public service of CrimeStoppers of Memphis to provide safety and peace of mind to seniors in our community. 

The Property Tax Freeze for Tennessee's Senior Citizens has been adopted by:
22 counties
and
25 municipalities

In 2011 over 50,200 Tennesseans enjoyed tax relief through this program!


Official Information

Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Division of Property Assessments

Tax Freeze Income Limits 2012 PDF

Tax Freeze Income Limits 2012 Map PDF

Complete Text of the Property Tax Freeze Act - PUBLIC CHAPTER NO. 581 PDF

Attorney General's opinion July 17, 2007 PDF

Attorney General's opinion March 23, 2007 PDF


Top News

UPDATE BY THE COMPTROLLER’S OFFICE REGARDING PROPERTY TAX FREEZE

Click to see the Video

Two Counties Join State's Retire Tennessee Program

Tax relief available for seniors, disabled

Norris Legislation Providing Hall Income Tax Relief for Senior Citizens Passes Tax Subcommittee

State Sales Tax Holiday needed says Majority Leader Mark Norris
July 25, 2012

Tennessee Cuts Inheritance, Gift and Sales Tax
July 13, 2012

Governor Haslam Signs Bills to Eliminate Inheritance Tax, Reduce Grocery Sales Tax
June 6, 2012

Home Alone

Governor Haslam Signs Legislation Providing Hall Income Tax Relief for Senior Citizens
June 21, 2011

WKNO to Premiere New Monthly Local Series for Viewers Aged 50+
November 21, 2008

Retirees are good for Cumberland County
November 13, 2008

More communities freeze property taxes for seniors
October 22, 2008

TennCare change aids seniors
July 19, 2008

The slender years Poverty is common specter for elderly
July 13, 2008

It's twins: TCCA receives two replacement vans through grant
July 3, 2008

Norris Praises Shelby County Leaders for Passage of Senior Tax Freeze
May 29, 2008

Freeze much-needed for our graying state
May 15, 2008

Senior tax relief program spreads
April 27, 2008

Norris Commends Local Governments for Pursuing Tax Relief Efforts for Seniors
April 11, 2008

Mark Norris Fills Aging Commission's Needs
March 21, 2008

DRMC celebrates annex addition
February 26, 2008

A little help for seniorsJanuary 13, 2008

Hatching a Nest EggSeptember 30, 2007

Senior issues topic at meeting
August 27, 2007

A welcome freeze, maybe
August 13, 2007

Local leaders like senior tax freeze
July 22, 2007

It's time to consider tax freeze for seniors
July 12, 2007

Law Freezes Property Taxes For Some Elderly Homeowners
June 29, 2007News of a surplus shifted lawmakers into overdrive
June 24, 2007

Shelby's leaders were just that
June 24, 2007


Mark Norris Official Web Site

Mark Norris Personal Web Site

Retire Tennessee

SeniorBsafe

Tennesse Senate Republican Caucus


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