Property Assessor

About the Office

A property assessor is a person who calculates the value of various properties. Those calculations are then used to determine how much the owner must pay in property taxes to the local government. That "assessed value" also serves as a loose guideline for the amount of insurance needed on the property.

A property assessor's job description is similar to that of an appraiser or an insurance adjuster. The difference is that these other positions are with private employers, and an assessor works directly for the local government.

The mission of the Washington County Assessor of Property is to discover, list, classify, and value all taxable property within Washington County, Tennessee for Ad Valorem (according to value) tax purposes.

The position of Property Assessor is an elected one according to the Tennessee constitution. Property assessors serve four-year terms of office. Assessor Scott Buckingham was re-elected to a four-year term in August 2014.

Our Mandate: Fairness & Impartiality

Property values can be a touchy subject - especially when it comes to how they affect an owner's pocketbook. Assessor Scott Buckingham and his team are legally and ethically obligated to conduct their jobs fairly and impartially. No one gets any special favors, and no one gets singled out for unfair treatment.

To put it in more official-sounding terms, the Assessor of Property is responsible to the property owners and taxpayers of Washington County to ensure that all property subject to taxation is valued in accordance with state laws, that no property escapes the assessment process or is under-assessed, and that no property owner receives unauthorized preferential treatment. This department seeks to provide the highest level of professional service and technical assistance to the public on all matters relating to property assessment and tax policy.

Types of Taxable Property

Taxable property is divided into two classes, real property and personal property. Real property includes land and all buildings, structures, and improvements to the land. Personal property is machinery and equipment, fixtures, furniture, and other items that are movable in nature used by a business.