2018 Tennessee Code
Title 67 - Taxes and Licenses
Chapter 5 - Property Taxes
Part 20 - Delinquent Taxes
§ 67-5-2003. Collection by distraint and sale of personalty -- Actions at law or garnishment.

Universal Citation: TN Code § 67-5-2003 (2018)
  • (a) All delinquent personal property taxes, including but not limited to, public utility personal property taxes, may be immediately collected by the county trustee or collector, with the assistance of the delinquent tax attorney selected pursuant to § 67-5-2404 or § 67-5-2001, if such delinquent tax attorney's assistance is requested by the trustee or collector. The tax books in the hands of the trustee or collector and the delinquent lists furnished to deputy trustees or the collector's deputies, or the sheriff or constables in any county where the taxpayer or any property liable for the taxes may be found, or the delinquent tax attorney, shall have the force and effect of a judgment and execution from a court of record, and shall be ample authority for the officers or delinquent tax attorney having such taxes for collection to distrain and sell a sufficient amount of the personal property to satisfy the delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, costs and attorneys' fees. However, leased personal property assessed to a lessee shall not be distrained and sold pursuant to this section.

  • (b) These delinquent personal property taxes may be immediately collected by distraint (distress warrant) and sale of any personal property liable therefor, by suit at law against the taxpayer, and/or by garnishment.

  • (c) Prior to distraint (seizure) of any personal property, the trustee, deputy trustee or delinquent tax attorney shall give not less than ten (10) days' written notice of the intended distraint (seizure) by either:

    • (1) Delivering such notice in person;

    • (2) Leaving such notice at the dwelling place or usual place of business of the taxpayer; or

    • (3) By mailing such notice to the taxpayer's last known address.

  • (d) Ten (10) days' notice of the time and place of any sale of personalty shall be given by advertisement posted in three (3) public places in the county, one (1) of which shall be at the courthouse door. In addition, at least ten (10) days' written notice of the sale shall be given to the taxpayer by any of the methods outlined in subsection (c).

  • (e) The officers shall in all cases have the personal property present when sold and shall be allowed to retain in addition to the taxes, interest, penalties, costs, and attorney's fees, all commissions, costs and necessary expenses of removing and keeping the property distrained (expenses of seizure, preservation and storage of the property).

  • (f) Any delinquent tax attorney assisting the trustee shall be allowed attorney's fees, computed as are attorney's fees for collection of real property taxes in § 67-5-2410.

  • (g)

    • (1) The trustee or collector may turn over the delinquent list thirty (30) days after such taxes become delinquent to the delinquent tax attorney, selected pursuant to § 67-5-2404 or § 67-5-2001, to file suit to collect delinquent personal property taxes, as part of any pending suit to collect real property taxes, as part of a separate mass lawsuit pursuant to the procedures set forth in this chapter, or as a separate lawsuit. Such can be done without having first issued a distress warrant.

    • (2) In the event the trustee or collector turns over the delinquent list prior to the mailing of the notice pursuant to § 67-5-2402, the trustee or collector shall be required to forward written notice by first class mail to the last known property owner at least ten (10) days before the delinquent list is turned over to the delinquent tax attorney.

    • (3) If the procedure in this subsection (g) is used, the trustee or collector is also authorized, as with real property tax records, to turn over records to the clerk of court.

    • (4) A judgment of personal liability for unpaid personal property taxes may be enforced as any other judgment, through garnishment, execution, or otherwise, and may also be recorded as a lien in one (1) or more offices of registers of deeds. Any judgment recorded pursuant to this subdivision (g)(4) shall be subject to the same requirements and attributes of judgment liens, including durability, priority, and renewal, and shall thereafter no longer be subject to the statute of limitation established by this chapter for unpaid property taxes. However, the rates of penalty and interest shall continue as established by this chapter, and upon recording of such judgment, the tax entity shall retain the alternative of enforcing its tax lien against the assessed personal property according to the priority and procedures set forth in this chapter.

    • (5) Following entry of a personal judgment for delinquent personal property taxes, a tax entity may enter into a written agreement for the payment of such judgment in installments, pursuant to § 26-2-218, on such terms as the tax entity may deem appropriate; provided, that such agreement must provide for payment of all taxes, interest, penalties, fees, and costs in full, including any interest and penalties that accrue during the term of the installment payments.

    • (6) Any tax entity may file suit to collect any other taxes it is authorized by law to collect thirty (30) days after such taxes become delinquent, as part of any pending suit to collect property taxes, or as a separate mass lawsuit pursuant to the procedures set forth in this chapter.

  • (h) If any individual, partnership, joint venture, corporation or other legal entity has personal property, tangible or intangible, assessable by the county assessor or other authority, that is sold pursuant to title 47, chapter 9, the party possessing the security interest shall withhold and pay from the proceeds of the sale an amount sufficient to satisfy the personal property taxes assessed under § 67-5-2101 and subject to § 67-5-1805. A secured party selling the property who fails to withhold and pay such amount shall be held to be personally liable for such amount to the trustee or other collecting official to which these personal property taxes are due, and any action to enforce this subsection (h) must commence against the secured party as a named defendant within four (4) years of the assessment date. Any amount paid by or collected from a secured party pursuant to this subsection (h) shall reduce by that same amount the balance due by the taxpayer to the trustee or other collecting official who has been paid, and such amount shall also become a new obligation of payment by the delinquent taxpayer to the secured party, regardless of contractual limitations to the contrary. The application of § 67-5-1805 to a secured party, and the mechanisms described in this subsection (h), shall be construed as remedial legislation designed to clarify and bring uniformity to existing law regarding the procedure of the apportionment and collection of taxes pursuant to this subsection (h).

  • (i) Delinquent public utility taxes and taxes owed by modern market telecommunications providers shall not be immediately collected under this section if the local assessment includes any real property. The trustee or collector shall confirm with the comptroller of the treasury whether such taxpayer's local assessment includes any real property.

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