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 and other qualifying non-profit groups to file for property-tax exemption for each piece of property they acquire. An essential condition for consideration for exemption status is that the property must be actively used for religious purposes.