Tax relief help available for low-income Chattanooga seniors

Everlena Holmes, a Gellwood Block Leaders coordinator speaks during a meeting Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2017, at the Eastgate Senior Center in Chattanooga, Tenn. Mayor Andy Berke said Tuesday that he will ask the City Council to freeze property taxes for low- and moderate-income seniors to limit the impact of overall property tax increase.

Starting Monday, low-income senior citizens in Chattanooga can get help applying for property tax relief through city and state programs.

The state of Tennessee has offered property tax relief for years. Chattanooga's program started in 2017.

From Monday through Feb. 26, several city community centers are hosting sessions to help seniors apply for the freeze or other benefits, including assistance with city water quality fees that appear on property tax bills.

The city tax freeze will keep qualifying homeowners' city property tax bills from rising as long as they qualify. Eligible homeowners must be age 65 or older, live in a home in Chattanooga and have a combined income of less than $38,840 a year.

The city also helps seniors and the disabled, fully disabled veterans, and those veterans' surviving spouses sign up for a separate state tax relief program that will rebate part of their property taxes. Seniors age 65 and older whose incomes are no higher than $29,270 are eligible. Fully disabled veterans and their widows or widowers qualify regardless of income.

The state tax relief program is available to Hamilton County taxpayers as well.

And, starting this year, Chattanooga residents who qualify for the city tax freeze or state tax relief also can get help paying their Chattanooga water quality program fees. The annual fees are attached to city property tax bills.

Earlier this year, the city raised the fees to help pay for required water quality programs, but also set aside money to offset the costs for low-income seniors.

Applications for the tax freeze must be filed by April 5, 2019.

To learn more about applying for tax or fee relief, call the city treasurer's office at 423-643-7262 or visit

Here is the schedule for tax-help sessions (all hours are 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.):

» Monday-Jan. 10: Eastgate Senior Center, 5600 Brainerd Road

» Jan. 14-17: North River Civic Center, 1009 Executive Drive

» Jan. 22: Frances B. Wyatt YFD, 406 Colville St.

» Jan. 28-30: Washington Hills YFD, 4628 Oakwood Drive

» Feb. 4-6: Avondale YFD, 1305 Dodson Ave.

» Feb. 11: John A. Patten YFD, 3202 Kelly's Ferry Road

» Feb. 12-14: Eastgate Senior Center, 5600 Brainerd Road

» Feb. 18-21: North River Senior Center, 1009 Executive Drive

» Feb. 25-26: Frances B. Wyatt YFD, 406 Colville St.