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Letcher County Property Valuation Administrator's Office

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the assessment date in Kentucky?
January 1 is the assessment date. The assessment of all property real or personal is based on the January 1 assessment date. Therefore, if a house burned or was damaged on January 2 or any date following in the year, the tax bill would be based on the full value. Taxes are not prorated in this situation. The same is true with personal property. For example, if you wrecked or sold a car on January 2, the entire year's tax would be due. On the other hand, if a home was under construction and the construction did not begin until January 2, taxes on the house would not be due - only taxes on the land value would be due. In the vehicle example, if you bought a new car in January, only the car owned as of January 1 would be subject to property tax.

What requires that property be revalued?
The Kentucky Constitution. The Kentucky Department of Revenue monitors and enforces compliance with this law. All property must be revalued each year and must be physically examined at least once every four years.

Why have a property tax?
Properties are appraised so that those of us who want the advantages of having schools, fire and police protection, and other public benefits (which is just about everyone) can absorb our fair share of the cost in proportion to the amount of money our individual properties are worth. The property tax is part of a well-balanced revenue system. It is a more stable source of money than sales and income taxes because it does not fluctuate when communities experience recessions. When the community spends your tax dollars on better schools, parks, etc., your property values rise.

Why does appraised value change from year to year?
When the market changes, so does appraised value. For instance, if you were to increase the total market value of your property by building an addition, the appraised value would increase proportionately. Similarly, should your property's value be decreased by fire, the appraised value will decrease to reflect the downward effect on your property's market value. The entire community's economy and forces of supply and demand will also affect your property's appraised value.

*The PVA does not create the value. People make their own property values by their transactions in the marketplace. The PVA simply has the responsibility to study those transactions and appraise the property accordingly.

Why are some assessments unequal?
This is the most common situation.

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  1. A property sells and the actual sale price is used to set the assessed value.
  2. Similar property, often located in the same neighborhood, has not sold in many years. It has an older assessment that is not as high as the "fair market value" established by the property that sold.
  3. The properties are equal, but the assessments are not.

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Letcher County Property Valuation Administrator's Office

What exemptions are homeowners eligible for?
Section 170 of the Kentucky Constitution grants taxpayers the right to file for homestead exemption. There are two types of homestead exemptions in Kentucky.
  1. Senior Citizens 65 or older
  2. Totally Disabled taxpayers

What are MY rights and responsibilities?
If your opinion of the value of your property differs from the PVA, then go to the office and discuss the matter. We will discuss the process that was used to assess your property. If the information we have needs to be updated, we will also update the value. We will answer any questions about appealing your assessment to the local board of appeals, if we can't come to an agreement on a value.

Appeals Information

How is the amount of tax determined?
The amount of tax you pay is determined by a tax rate applied to your property's assessed value. The tax rate is determined by all the taxing agencies such as County Governments, City Governments, and School Boards. If the tax rate remains the same, your taxes will:

  • Not change if your assessed value remains the same.
  • Increase as your assessed value increases.
  • Decrease as your assessed value decreases.
CALCULATION: Taxes = (Assessment per 1000) x Total Tax Rate

Tax Calculator

*Remember:The PVA office does not have anything to do with the total amount of taxes collected. The PVA office does not set the tax rates. Our job is to make sure all property is assessed at 100% fair market value.

*Failure to receive an assessment notice or tax bill is not grounds for non-payment of taxes.

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