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Reference Materials

Tennessee County Tax Statistics

One of our goals is to provide county officials with information that is useful in the operation of their offices. The following information represents a compilation of tax statistics for county governments in Tennessee. The information provided is current as of the date of its publication; however, changes may take place due to the dynamic nature of county government.

Information on local litigation taxes is not included in our reports; however, most counties do levy litigation taxes in varying amounts and for a myriad of purposes. The ease of passage of litigation tax (by resolution of the CLB) has made it a popular source of much needed revenues. For more information on litigation taxes in Tennessee, please see County Litigation Taxes (CTAS-1641) in e-Li, our electronic library.

We have provided buttons on each tab below with which you may download these data. Note: Each button will only download that table's data. If you have questions or need help, please contact your CTAS County Government Consultant. Please use the dropdown menu at the upper left of each table to view other years' data. If you need data prior to 2021, please visit our archived Tennessee County Tax Statistics publications.

The county legislative body sets the tax rate annually. Rates adopted by fund type are shown below. Please note that not all rates are levied countywide. These instances can occur for a variety of reasons. For example, counties may provide certain services only to residents in the unincorporated parts of the county. This is typically because cities are already providing those services to their residents. Another example is in the case of special school districts, which have their own taxing jurisdictions. In those cases, the total tax rate reflected in the last column shows the rate paid by a county taxpayer living in the special district. It is also important to note that municipal property tax rates are not included in this data. 

The property tax data below is summarized by the fund numbers most commonly used by counties. The column entitled “Other Funds” contains a summarization of all other funds not specified. To view a complete breakdown of the tax levy, please download the data. 
For more information, please see Property Taxes (CTAS-225) in e-Li.

The county assessor's duties include two basic functions: appraisal and assessment of taxable real and personal property in the county that is not appraised by the state. For purposes of ad valorem taxation of property, the assessor of property places a value on commercial, industrial, residential, and farmland, including mineral rights and taxable leaseholds, but public utility property is valued by the state. 

For definitions of terms included in the table below, please see the Comptroller’s Office Division of Property Assessment's (DPA) current year Tax Aggregate Report
Important: Parcel counts and assessed values listed were taken from the DPA’s Reappraisal Schedule and may not be the most recent data. 
CVU or Current Value Update: This only applies to counties with a six-year reappraisal cycle. In the third year of a six-year reappraisal cycle, a ratio study is performed to determine the overall level of appraisal for the jurisdiction. If the results of that ratio study reflect an overall median ratio of less than ninety percent (90%) of fair market value, all properties in the county are updated to market value. For more information, please see the Real Estate Appraisal Ratio Reports on the DPA's website. 
Penny Value: The figure represented is for informational purposes and does not take into consideration the delinquency rate established individually in each county. The effective penny value would be the amount shown reduced by the delinquency rate. 
For more information, please see County Assessor (CTAS-1475) in e-Li.

Any county by resolution of its legislative body can levy a sales tax on the same privileges subject to the state sales tax; however, no local sales tax or rate increase in the local sales tax can become effective until approved in an election in the county or city levying it.

If the county has levied the maximum rate of 2.75 percent, no city in the county can levy a sales tax. If a county has a sales tax rate less than the maximum, a city may levy a rate up to the difference between the county rate and the maximum.

Additionally, the local option sales tax may only apply to single purchases of tangible personal property up to $1,600. This limitation results in a “cap” on the local option sales tax that can be collected on taxable single articles. The cap is calculated as the base (the limitation on single purchases as adopted by the county) multiplied by the rate. For example, a county that has adopted the maximum base of $1,600 with a rate in place of 2.25 percent would have a tax cap of $36 on any single article of purchase.

The required distribution of county local option sales tax revenue (regardless of the location of the sale) is 50 percent to education (in the same manner as the property tax) and 50 percent to the location where the sale occurred.1

For more information, please see Local Option Sales Tax (CTAS-1618) in e-Li.
1 T.C.A. §67-6-712

Counties may levy a tax on motor vehicles (wheel tax) by any of the following methods: passage of a resolution by a two-thirds vote of the county legislative body at two consecutive regular county legislative body meetings; by passage of a resolution by the county legislative body by a regular majority with approval and referendum provided for in the resolution; and, by private act. The rates are set forth in the resolutions or private acts. The distribution may be designated for any county purpose specified by the resolution or private act. 

The rate column represents the automobile vehicle rate for each county. 
The registrations column represents the number of vehicles registered in the county in which the wheel tax rate is applied. 
For more information, please see County Motor Vehicle Privilege Tax (Wheel Tax) (CTAS-1634) in e-Li.

The hotel/motel tax, which is a tax on the privilege of occupancy of hotel and motel rooms, is established in counties through the adoption of a private act.1 Rates vary according to the terms of the private act. The distribution of the tax is set forth in the private act. The rates and distributions are shown below.

For more information, please see Hotel-Motel Tax (CTAS-1639) in e-Li.

1 Davidson County is the exception as it has utilized a general law that applies only to metropolitan governments.

By a two-thirds vote, counties may levy a tax on all sand, gravel, sandstone, chert, and limestone severed from the ground within the county at a rate of up to $0.15 per ton. Prior to 1984, the county mineral severance tax could be authorized by private act only. Private acts in existence when the general law was passed remain in effect for all purposes, except that the rate may not exceed $0.15 per ton. Counties who levied the tax under the general law are required to distribute the tax to the county highway fund.1

For more information, please see County Mineral Severance Tax (General Law) - CTAS-1614 and County Mineral Severance Tax (Private Act) - CTAS-1615.

1 T.C.A. §§ 67-7-201 through 67-7-221