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Property Tax Freeze and Relief Programs

Tax Freeze

What is Tax Freeze?

The Tax Freeze Program was created to help seniors (65 and older) by freezing the tax amount on their primary residence for future years. Mobile homes are included. For additional information, contact the Treasurer's office at 423-643-7262 or ptax@chattanooga.gov

Click here for FAQ's

Who will administer the program?

The Office of City Treasurer will administer the program for the City of Chattanooga property taxes.

Do I Qualify for Tax Freeze?
You may be eligible for the Tax Freeze Program if you meet certain age, income, and residency requirements. 

  • Are you 65 or older?
  • Do you own and live in a home in the City of Chattanooga that is your primary residence?
  • Is the total income for you, your spouse, and all parties listed on your property deed less than $38,840 for 2017?

You must be the owner and be the principal residence - not to exceed 5 acres - and only the portion of property used for residential structure

Please note that any improvements to the property that change the assessment value will be factored into an increased tax amount, regardless of your tax freeze status.

Legislation requires the income of the applicant's spouse to be included, regardless of ownership and regardless of whether or not the spouse is living on the property.

More information can be found at the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury's website:  Click here for State Legislation and Information.

How do I apply?

Applications must be received by April 5 for a given tax year. Applicant must reapply annually.

The deadline to apply is April 5, 2019. Taxes must be paid by this time also.  Click here for the application and instructions or call the Treasurer’s Office at (423) 643-7262. 

Please provide a copy of your last tax return or complete the Affidavit verifying income if no tax return is available.

Frequently Asked Questions

Tax Freeze

1. Will there be a lien placed on my property if I accept the freeze?

   No. The City does not place a lien on property where tax freeze has been granted.

2. If my taxes are paid by a mortgage company can I still apply for the freeze?

   Yes. For qualified applicants, mortgage companies are provided with frozen tax amounts or the regular base tax (whichever is lower) on an annual basis.

3. Can I receive tax freeze if I am currently receiving tax relief?

   Yes. You may receive both the tax freeze and tax relief as long as you meet the requirements set for each.

4. Do all owners have to be 65 in order to apply?

   No. Only one owner must be 65 years of age or older by December 31, 2018 to apply.

5. If my property is listed as a life estate can I still qualify?

   Yes. In order to determine eligibility, proof of the life estate may be required when application is made. Contact the Treasurer’s Office at (423) 643-7262 for further information.

6. Can I transfer the property tax freeze from one property to another?

   No. If you sell or purchase a property you must reapply and establish a new base tax amount.

7. How is ownership verified?

   Acceptable ownership evidence includes a deed (warranty, quitclaim, etc), probated will, title, or bill of sale for a mobile home, divorce decree, land contract, or trust.

8. What if I owned the property for only part of the year?

   An owner does not have to own the property on January 1 of the tax year. However, an applicant must own the property for any portion of the year for which application is made and must retain through the application deadline.

9. My spouse is not listed as an owner on the deed. Do I need to include my spouse's income?

   Yes. New legislation requires the income of the applicant's spouse to be included, regardless of ownership or residency.

10. What amount of tax becomes the frozen tax amount?

     The amount paid in the year the owner first qualifies. (This does not include water quality fees.)

What is Tax Relief?

    The Office of City Treasurer administers a state funded Tax Relief Program to help taxpayers 65 or older, disabled citizens, and veterans pay their property taxes. For qualifying applicants, the state will pay all or part of the property taxes on their home (including mobile homes) depending on the maximum amount of Tax Relief credit given in relation to the taxes due.  Please note that Tax Relief benefits are available for both city and county taxes!

For additional information, download the latest Property Tax Relief Program brochure.

The Tax Relief Credit
The Tax Relief Credit is a rebate and does not have to be paid back unless it is later determined that the recipient was not eligible for the program.  The income limit for elderly and disabled is $29,270. There is no income limit for disabled veterans. For 2018, the maximum tax relief credit is:

  • $157.11 elderly and disabled
  • $996.19 disabled vet, widow(er) of disabled vet, or spouse of a soldier killed in action

Do I Qualify for Tax Relief?
For elderly, one must be 65 by December 31st. Age limit does not apply to a disabled homeowner, disabled veteran or widow(er) of a disabled veteran homeowner.

Maximum income for application, spouse, and all owners of the property is 29,270; Income limit does not apply to disabled veterans or their widow(er)s.

Maximum market value on which tax relief is calculated: 27,600 for elderly and disabled homeowners; 175,000 for disabled veterans or their widow(ers)s.

*For disabled homeowners, disabled veterans or their widow(er)s, they must be totally and permanently disabled on or before December 31st.

Apply for Tax Relief
To obtain an application for Tax Relief on 2018 taxes, please contact the Office of City Treasurer at (423) 643-7262. The deadline to apply is April 5, 2019.

Tax Relief Frequently Asked Questions

1. When can I start the application process?

Applications can be submitted October 1, 2018 through April 5, 2019

2. Are tax relief recipients exempt from paying property taxes?

No. Tax relief is payment by the State of Tennessee to reimburse homeowners meeting certain eligibility requirements, for a part or all of paid property taxes. Tax relief is not an exemption. You still receive your tax bill(s) and are responsible for paying your property taxes each year.

3. How much tax relief will I get?

The amount varies depending on your property assessment and your city rate.

4. Will my tax relief check be the same each year?

The amount may vary year to year depending on your property assessment and your county or city tax rate.

5. Can I receive relief for more than one property?

No. You can only receive tax relief on your primary residence in any given tax year.

6. What happens next year if I am approved for tax relief?

You will receive a property tax relief voucher when you receive your property tax bill(s). You will need to present the voucher(s) to the City Treasurer before the deadline date along with payment of any balance due.

7. Is a veteran being rated 100% service-connected the same as having a total and permanent rating from a service-connected disability?


8. Can I receive tax relief if I am unable to provide my spouse's information/income/signature?

No. The income of the applicant's spouse is required to determine eligibility regardless of residency or ownership.

9. How can I get a mobile home title in my name?

A mobile home title is obtained by contracting your County Court Clerk.

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