Kentucky Property Taxes
Overview of Kentucky Property Taxes
Unless exempted, every homeowner in the state of Kentucky is obligated to pay property taxes every year. Kentucky property taxes are administered and collected by local taxing districts and are the main source of funding for local government services. The state and its local governments collect $37.5 billion in revenue every year. Of that, $3.6 billion is from property taxes. Kentucky is generally a low-tax state and the average homeowner pays $8.05 for every $1,000 of home value in property taxes. The average Kentucky property tax bill adds up to $1,215 although that figure fluctuates from county to county.
How do Kentucky property taxes work? It begins with the assessment process. Each county has a Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) who is required to revalue property every year. Additionally, the PVA's office must physically inspect the properties at least once every four years. The state of Kentucky requires that properties be assessed at 100% of their fair market value which is the money an unobligated buyer would pay for the property. PVAs and the Office of Property Valuation can use a sales comparison approach, cost approach, or income approach to determine the assessed value of a property. Kentucky property taxes are based on the assessed value and the tax rates as determined by the local taxing districts.
Kentucky property tax rates are set by the taxing districts by dividing their budgetary requirements by the total amount of assessed values of properties within the district. All counties across the state of Kentucky have a general county tax rate set by the fiscal court and a school district tax rate set by the local school board. Some counties have more than one school district however, homeowners pay their Kentucky property taxes based on one district. Under House Bill 44, the state of Kentucky limits the increase in the amount of property taxes collected by taxing districts every year. The total revenue for the current year must be similar to the revenue collected in the preceding year. As assessment values increase, taxing districts must roll back their tax rates to compensate for the increase.
If you are planning to buy a home in Kentucky and want to understand how much your property tax bill could potentially cost, check out our Kentucky Property Tax Tool to see what your bill would be.
Kentucky Property Tax Due Dates
Properties across Kentucky are assessed as of January 1 every year to determine their value. Homeowners that disagree with the value placed on their property can appeal property taxes during a conference with the PVA. If the homeowner still disagrees with the PVA after the conference, appeal options include the local Board of Assessment Appeals and the Kentucky Claims Commission. However, only the assessment can be appealed, not the tax rates.
When are property taxes due in Kentucky? After determining the tax rates, the taxing districts print tax bills which are delivered to the County Sheriff's office to be mailed to homeowners. Homeowners receive their Kentucky property tax bill by September 15 of each year. Depending on the county in which a property is located, homeowners may also receive their tax bill on October 1 or November 1. The state provides a 2% discount for homeowners who receive their tax bill by October 1 and clear the bill by November 1. Taxes are payable from November 2 to December 31. Failure to receive a tax bill does not excuse homeowners from paying Kentucky property taxes.
Taxes that remain unpaid after Kentucky property tax due dates result in a 5% penalty starting January. Starting February 1, the penalty is computed at 21% of the taxes due. Taxes become delinquent by the close of business on April 15. At this point, the unpaid Kentucky property tax bills are transferred to the County Clerk's office. Delinquent taxes can lead to the sale of a property to third-party purchasers by the county to recover the delinquent taxes, penalties accrued, and other additional costs.
Kentucky Property Tax Exemptions
Besides the option of appealing property taxes if homeowners have evidence showing their property was wrongly valued, the state of Kentucky offers several property tax exemptions including the senior and homestead exemptions. The exemptions can significantly lower a homeowner's Kentucky property tax burden depending on their eligibility. However, homeowners are still subject to Kentucky property tax due dates notwithstanding their eligibility for exemptions.
Kentucky Homestead Exemption
Kentucky's homestead exemption exempts a portion of a property's assessed value from Kentucky property taxes. For the 2021 and 2022 tax periods, the maximum amount of assessed value exempt is $40,500. Property taxes are computed based on the remaining amount. To be eligible, homeowners must be at least 65 years of age. They must also own and occupy the property as their principal residence. Disabled Kentuckians are also eligible for this exemption. Homeowners must apply with their local PVA's office.
Kentucky Senior Citizens Exemption
Kentucky's senior exemption is also known as the Kentucky Senior Residence Tax Exemption. Under this provision, up to $6,500 of the assessed value of a single-family residence for a homeowner who is at least 65 years is exempted from Kentucky property taxes.
Other Kentucky property tax exemptions include the disabled veterans' exemption in which the disabled veteran receives a tax break similar to the one received by senior residents under the homestead exemption. Eligible veterans can have up to $40,500 of their principal residence's assessed value exempted from Kentucky property taxes. Permanently disabled veterans, as determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs, are not required to reapply for this exemption.
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Kentucky
The state of Kentucky gives homeowners options to appeal property taxes if they disagree with the Property Valuation Administrator's assessment of their property. The appeal process starts with a conference with the PVA where a designated deputy will explain how the assessment was derived. It also serves as the homeowner's opportunity to provide evidence disputing their property's valuation. If the conference does not end in agreement, homeowners can file an official appeal with the Local Board of Assessment Appeals. If the homeowner is dissatisfied with the local board's decision, they can file an appeal at the state level with the Kentucky Claims Commission (KCC). The state allows homeowners to pay Kentucky property taxes based on their claim of valuation pending the outcome of their appeal.
The process of filing an assessment appeal varies across Kentucky though it generally follows the same steps from county to county:
- Obtain your assessment
- Determine if you are overassessed
- Complete forms needed to appeal
- File property tax appeal
- Prepare for hearing
- Attend hearing
- Appeal the decision
How to Appeal Your Property Taxes in Jefferson County
For a better understanding of how to appeal your property taxes in Kentucky, the following is a breakdown of the process in Jefferson County, the most populous county in Kentucky.
Obtain your assessment
If you own property in Jefferson County, you can obtain details of your assessment from your tax bill or by consulting your local PVA.
Determine if you are over-assessed
A successful appeal process starts by finding out whether the PVA's valuation of your property reflects its fair market value. You can use TaxProper's search tool to search for sales of similar units within your locality and see how the prices compare to your property's valuation.
Complete forms needed to appeal
The forms you need to appeal property taxes will be provided to you by the County Clerk's office.
File property tax appeal
Property tax appeals in Jefferson County are filed with the County Clerk and heard by a three-member panel known as the local Board of Assessment Appeals.
Prepare for hearing
Preparation for an appeal hearing includes presenting evidence showing why the PVA's valuation of your property is above its market value. Evidence can include sales/assessment data from similar properties, recent appraisals of the property, original cost of construction, and documents of insured value.
The local Board of Assessment Appeals requires you to attend the appeal hearing so that you can present factual evidence to support your claim of value. However, you can also be represented by a certified real estate appraiser, a Kentucky licensed real estate broker, a licensed or certified Kentucky Real Estate Appraiser. The representative must present written authorization from you as the property owner and also declare their interests in the outcome of the appeal.
Appeal the decision
If you are dissatisfied with the decision by the local Board of Assessment Appeals, you can file an appeal at the state level with the Kentucky Claims Commission (KCC).
Property Tax Information for Kentucky Counties
The table below provides county-level information about how property taxes work in each Kentucky county.
Want to learn more? Click the county links to learn more about a specific Kentucky county.
|County||Average Home Value||Average Tax Bill||Bill per $1,000|