Property Tax Exemption

Obtaining Exempt Status for PROPERTY TAXES

Religious, scientific, educational, charitable, and non-profit organizations must apply to obtain exempt status. Tennessee State law allows the Assessor to aid the property owner in the exempt application process, but the authority to exempt property resides with the Tennessee State Board of Equalization (SBOE).

Many churches and other religious organizations believe they are automatically exempt from property taxation. However, Tennessee State law requires churches, scientific, educational, charitable, and qualifying non-profit organizations/groups file for property-tax exemption for each piece of property they acquire. An essential condition for consideration for exemption status is, the property must be actively used for religious, scientific, educational, charitable, and non-profit organization purposes.

The effective date is based on the date of the exemption application filing. DETERMINING PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION EFFECTIVE DATES

Exemption Forms

State of Tennessee Property Tax exemption forms are no longer available in this Office; ALL Applications for Exemption must be filled out online (see link below). The determination of eligibility for exemption is made entirely in the  State Board of Equalization Office which is located Nashville, TN.


 PLEASE have the following REQUIRED documentation available when filling out the Exemption Application: 

  • Proof of ownership of real property (a copy of the warranty or quitclaim deed). In the case of tangible personal property a schedule identifying the property applied for and, if applicable, the identifying taxing information received from the county assessor of property. 
  • If the organization is incorporated, a copy of the corporate charter and bylaws. 
  • If the organization is unincorporated, a copy of any document(s) explaining the organization’s governing structure. 
  • Financial information for the last fiscal year (i.e., Form 990 if required by the IRS, a budget for the organization, an income/expense statement, or other similar documentation). 
  • A non-aerial photograph of the property. 

For more information regarding the Property Tax Exemption process, go to the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury, Click here for a link to the State Board of Equalization Exemption Application which can be filled out online.