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Circuit Court 

Will the clerk's office give me legal advice?
By law, the clerk's office is prohibited from answering any legal questions.

How are people chosen to serve on jury duty?
Tennessee State Law requires the clerk's office to purchase a disk of all valid driver's license holders in the state from the Department of Safety. The jurors are randomly picked from this disk by a computer.

How do I obtain a background check?
The Circuit Court has one public access computer you can use to check records.

What if I can't afford an attorney? 
In a criminal case, you will be given an Affidavit of Indigency Form to fill out to see if you qualify for an appointed attorney. If you do, you will be appointed one by the Circuit Judge. If you file a civil case and can't afford an attorney, you can contact Legal Services to see if you qualify for help.'

Property Assessor

Can I see a picture of my property lines?

We can show you an aerial view of your property and property lines. You can also view a version of this map online at Tennessee Property Viewer. Please Note: If you have a boundary dispute, remember that our maps are not legal boundary lines. Only a surveyor can mark lines, and a only court of law can settle a dispute between neighbors.

How is the square footage of my home determined?

Each home in Lake County is physically measured by an appraiser. Measurements are taken of the entire perimeter of the house from the outside of the exterior covering (i.e., brick, siding, etc.). All living areas (areas that are heated and cooled) are included in the total square footage shown on the property card. Areas that are not living spaces (i.e., attached garages, open porches, etc.) are measured and recorded but are not included in the total square footage in our records.

If property values have fluctuated over the last 6 months, why isn’t this reflected in my tax bill?

Property values established by the Assessor’s Office are calculated every five years during reappraisal. These values remain the same (for five years) until the next reappraisal, except in the case of additions, new construction, demolition, or corrections of error.

What should I do if I feel my property value is incorrect?

Contact the Assessor’s Office to verify the information on your property is correct in the assessor’s records. If all information is accurate, your next step is to begin the appeal process with the Lake County Board of Equalization, which meets on June 1 every year.

How often will the Assessor’s Office staff come to my property?

Your property should be viewed at least once every four years by the Assessor’s Office staff. Your property could be viewed more than once in the event of additions, demolitions, Greenbelt applications, etc.

If I bought my property in May, why isn’t my name showing up as owner on the Property Assessor’s website?

The records in the Assessor’s Office are relevant as of January 1 for any given tax year. When a property is transferred after January 1 of a tax year, the ownership records do not change until the following year.

How do I change my mailing address?

Contact the Assessor’s Office at (731) 253-7200 and inform staff of your new address.

What are the rules concerning the Greenbelt program?

The term “Greenbelt” refers to Tennessee’s Agricultural, Forest, and Open Space Land Act of 1976 (commonly referred to as the “Greenbelt Law” or “Greenbelt Program”). This law provides for the assessment of agriculture, forest, and open space lands for tax purposes based on present use value rather than current market value for similar properties. Information on application procedures, requirements, and limitations can be found under the Greenbelt Section.

What is reappraisal, and why is it conducted?

Reappraisal is conducted in Lake County pursuant to Tennessee State Law, which requires each county to periodically update property values to reflect current market value. This process eliminates inequities that happen over time by changes in the real estate market. Reappraisal works to ensure fairness to all property owners.

How is “market value” determined?

The Assessor’s Office bases market value calculations on collected sales data from all real estate transactions in Lake County, taking into consideration other factors affecting real estate values in your neighborhood. The best indicator of current market value is qualified (willing buyer and willing seller) prior year sales, which the Assessor’s Office uses to determine reappraisal values.

Why is my recent lender or mortgage appraisal different from the property assessor’s appraisal?

Property assessors' valuations are used to determine property taxes and are done on a mass appraisal basis using statistics and market conditions to derive value. Additionally, values are set at four-year increments. Financial lender appraisers perform a more in-depth, real-time review of an individual property versus the overall mass dollar amount per square foot of similar properties in your neighborhood.