Tags : state

Assessor data key to probe of TN ag tax break

Last spring, investigative reporter Marc Perrusquia and I started poking around in the Shelby County Assessor's Office online database of property records, looking at properties owned by developers and local wealthy families that had “Greenbelt” designation.

The “Greenbelt Law” was devised decades ago to curb encroaching development by protecting farms, forests and open spaces from rising property values. The law allows undeveloped property to be assessed at a low “use” value rather than a generally rising market value. It was designed to keep farmers from being priced off their land.

Assessments work like this: The total appraisal of a ...

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