Many property owners are unsure about whether or not it is appropriate to appeal property tax value due to their lack of understanding about both the difference in values assigned to properties by the government and the property tax appeal process. Therefore, it is important to gain a good understanding abou the process for determining the assessed value of your property, as well as the steps involved in the process of filing an appeal. This is not rocket science! If you feel your property is currently assessed at a higher value than the prevailing market you need to start now so you are ready for the small window of opportunity available to you each year to make your appeal.
There are several ways to determine whether your residence is over-valued for property tax purposes. The current market has dictated lower values for many properties than those that are reflected on your latest tax bill. Let's say you just purchased your home for less than it's assessed value. Doing the math on a home purchased for $150,000 in St. Matthews that has a current property assessment of $185,000 would mean your annual taxes are $1,855.62. If you are successful in getting the Jefferson County PVA to move that property assessment to your purchase price you will save approximately $350 a year. That is $3,500 over a ten year period of time. Got something else you could use that money for? I sure would!
Under state law (KRS 133.120) property owners who wish to appeal their assessment must first hold a conference with the PVA Office during the annual Open Inspection Period (OIP). Each year the OIP in Jefferson County begins on the first Monday in May and continues for a 13 day period, including 2 Saturdays.
This year's OIP began on May 2, 2011 an closed May 16, 2011. The last day to submit an appeal to the PVA Office was May 16, 2011 by 4:00pm EST. By law, the PVA Office is not authorized to accept appeals via personal visits to their office or online appeal subissions after May 16, 2011. Next year's open inspection begins on May 7, 2012 and ends on May 21, 2012. Call the PVA Office in mid-April at (502) 574-6224 to schedule a conference or complete their online appeal service at that time. The Web site addrss is http://jeffersonpva.ky.gov/property-assessment/appeal-process.
Please remember that property tax valuations are not necessarily a market value of your property, although that is the goal of the Auditor's Office to stay as current as possible. You may be being over-taxed however, if your property is appraised at a higher value than its current market value.
Sellers, please do not be confused by the fact that by lowering your tax vaulation with the county you will be lowering the market value. If you are being taxed on a higher than market value, it does not mean that is what you should expect to get when selling the property. Bottom line is that the market dictates the value of your property so why pay taxes on a higher valuation? By adjusting your county tax valuation to be in line with the market, you may well be attracting additional buyers, due to having a more attractive tax bill than a property that is not in line with the market.
Finally, be aware that filing an appeal for your property tax value does not cancel out your responsibility to pay your property taxes in full and on time. You may be charged interest or other fees on late or unpaid property taxes, even if your appeal is ultimately successful.
Make sure to mark your calendar now to make this appeal if you think you qualify. It is well worth the small amount of time it will take. A bit of early planning could mean extra money in your pocket that you deserve. If you live in a county other than Jefferson County, be sure and check with those specific PVA offices for their appeals process and time frames. They may be slightly different.
We, at Julie Pogue Properties, are always glad to assist you iin determining the current market value of your property. Just give us a call.
Hope you all have a terrific week!