General Information

REAL PROPERTY

Real property, or real estate, is defined as the land and any improvements attached to the land. Mobile homes are assessed and taxed as real property. Section 172 of the Kentucky Constitution requires that all property be assessed by the PVA for taxation at its fair cash value. Fair cash value is defined as the price a property would bring in a voluntary sale between a buyer and seller who are each willing and knowledgeable.

The assessment date is January 1 of each year. Each year's property bill will reflect the January 1 owner's name and the January 1 value.

APPRAISAL METHODS

Market value, or fair cash value, is an estimate of what a property would sell for in an open market under normal circumstances. To estimate market value, the assessor must be familiar with the local real estate market and what different properties have sold for in the different areas of the county.

There are three accepted ways to estimate market value.

  1. Market Approach
    The property is compared to other similar properties that have sold recently, using only sales where the buyer and seller acted without undue pressure. The Market Approach is normally used to value residential, vacant, and farm properties.
  2. Cost Approach
    The assessor calculates what it would cost to replace the structure, using current labor and material prices. If the structure is not new, the assessor would then determine how much it has depreciated since it was built. The resulting value is then added to an estimate of the market value of the land. The Cost Approach is used to value special purpose and utility properties.
  3. Income Approach
    The assessor analyzes the income a property would produce if it were rented. Operating expenses, insurance, maintenance costs, and financing terms are all considered. The Income Approach is used to assess income-producing properties such as apartment buildings, mini-storage complexes and shopping centers.

THE APPEALS PROCESS

A. Conference with the PVA

Anytime an assessment is changed, the PVA is required to mail an assessment notice to the owner. If the property owner disagrees with the new value, his first action should be to schedule a conference the PVA or a designated Deputy. The conference may be in person or by phone.
Conferences for the current year's assessment must be scheduled prior to the end of the tax roll Inspection Period which is usually the third Monday in May. At the conference, the PVA or Deputy will explain how the new assessment was calculated. The property owner should be prepared to give their estimate of value of their property.
Conferences for the current year's assessment must be scheduled prior to the end of the tax roll Inspection Period which is usually the third Monday in May. At the conference, the PVA or Deputy will explain how the new assessment was calculated. The property owner should be prepared to give their estimate of value of their property.
Usually the property owner and the PVA are able to reach an agreement during the conference. The owner might learn of sales prices of similar properties, or the PVA might review the owner's documentation or discover an error in the PVA records. If the conference does not end with an agreement, the property owner can then file an appeal with the County Clerk's office.

B. Filing An Appeal

The County Clerk accepts all assessment appeals and schedules all meetings of the Local Appeals Board. The Clerk also provides the Appeal Form which must be completed by the owner. The owner must state his opinion of the fair cash value of the property and state why the PVA's value is too high. The owner must also provide a copy of the conference record to document that a conference was held.
The County Clerk will schedule all hearings and will notify the property owner when and where their appeal hearing will be held. Property owners and the PVA are expected to appear at the appropriate hearing.

C. Appearing Before the Local Board of Assessment Appeals

All real property assessment appeals are heard by a three-member panel known as the Local Board of Assessment Appeals. The Board is comprised of three local residents who are knowledgeable about real estate values in Hopkins County. The Board members are appointed to a rotating three-year term by the Judge Executive, the Fiscal Court, and the mayor of the largest city in the county.
The hearings at the local level are informal. Property owners do not have to hire an attorney or a professional representative; however, they may hire representation if they desire. Any compensated representative of an owner must be an attorney, a certified real estate appraiser, a Kentucky licensed real estate broker, an employee of the taxpayer, or any other person possessing a professional appraisal designation recognized by the Revenue Cabinet.
The representative must present written authorization from the owner which states the professional capacity of the representative and any personal interest the representative may have in the outcome of the appeal (such as a contingency fee. If the representative is an attorney, any contingency fee does not have to be disclosed.
An appeal will be denied if the taxpayer has been asked to present information by the PVA, the Revenue Cabinet, or the Appeals Board, and fails to do so. Such evidence might include income and expense statements, recent appraisals, construction costs, the insured value, or the asking price if the property has been recently offered for sale.
A decision will not be made immediately by the Board. The property owner will be notified by Certified Mail of the Board's decision. If the taxpayer is dissatisfied with the local Board's ruling, an appeal can then be filed at the State level with the Kentucky Board of Tax Appeals.



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