The legislature has provided authority for tax relief programs in which the state pays a portion of the county property taxes due on residences of qualified taxpayers. The program authorizes payment, or reimbursement of taxes already paid, to the following taxpayers: (1) elderly low-income homeowners, (2) disabled homeowners, and (3) disabled veterans.1
Counties may not provide tax relief by setting a lower tax rate, or by reducing penalty and interest, for particular classes of residents. Such provisions violate the uniformity provisions of Tenn. Const. art. II, § 28.2However, in 2006, the legislature amended T.C.A. § 67-5-701(j) to allow all counties to appropriate funds for tax relief for elderly low income homeowners, disabled homeowners and disabled veterans. 2006 Public Chapter 739. The total tax relief from the state and local appropriations cannot exceed the total taxes actually paid. Only the taxpayers eligible for the state program are eligible for tax relief from a county appropriation.3
1T.C.A. § 67-5-701 et seq.
2Ops. Tenn. Atty. Gen. 96-044 (March 13, 1996) and 89-111 (September 5, 1989).
3T.C.A. § 67-5-701(j)