NASHVILLE (WATE) – The Tennessee State legislature has passed a bill to help people affected by the devastating wildfires in Sevier County late last year.
The bill allows local governments to approve, by a two-thirds vote, tax relief for real and personal property damaged in the wildfire. The tax relief bill calls for prorating the 2016 tax assessment for a homeowner’s real property or a business owner’s personal property if the property was damaged by 50 percent or more. If 2016 taxes were already paid, those people would get a refund. The bill passed both the House and Senate on Monday.
Meanwhile, another bill passed in the State Senate that gives local governments the authority to go on private property at the request of the homeowner to clean up debris. The bill would allow Gatlinburg to get reimbursements from FEMA for removing debris on property that is not owned by those with low income or who are elderly or disabled.