How is Real Property Assessed?
Market Value is how much property would sell for, in an open market, under normal conditions. Before assessing any parcel of property, the assessor estimates its market value. To estimate market values, the assessor must be familiar with all aspects of the local real estate market, such as: what different properties are selling for, local construction and repair costs, normal operating expenses, typical rents, and current financing charges for borrowing money to buy or build property.
A property’s value can be determined in three different ways:
- Property is compared to others similar to it that have sold recently, using only sales where buyer and seller both acted without undue pressure. This method is called the market approach and is normally used to value residential, vacant, and farm properties.
- The second way is to calculate what it would cost, using today’s labor and material prices, to replace the structure with a similar one. If the structure is not new, the assessor determines how much is has depreciated since it was built. The resulting value is added to an estimate of the market value of the land. This method is used to value special purpose and utility properties, and is called the cost approach.
- The third way is to analyze how much income a property, like an apartment building, a store, or a factory will produce if rented. Operating expenses, insurance, maintenance costs, financing terms, and how much money owners expect to make on this type of property, are considered. This is the income approach.
How can I lower my assessment?
Properties can be revalued with the following information:
1. Recent appraisals
2. Insurance policies
3. Sales of similar properties
The PVA will evaluate the information you provide, and compare with sales information available in the office.
How do I apply for an exemption?
An exemption may be granted for homestead (for persons over 65 years of age), disability (if you can provide the PVA Office with the required documentation).
Please see the homestead/disability page for specific information.
What Documentation do I need to apply for an exemption?
The Property Valuation Office requires documentation verifying age. Appropriate documentation might include Medicare cards issued by Social Security, birth certificates, and driver’s license. When applying for the disability exemption, the same form will apply. However, the form must be accompanied by an award letter stating the date you started receiving full disability benefits.
Why is the PVA in my neighborhood?
The PVA is responsible for reviewing all properties in the county every four years. Any area of the county may be reviewed at any time.
Why do I need documentation on a junked, wrecked, or stolen vehicle?
The Kentucky Department of Revenue requires PVAs to have documentation on any motor vehicle or boat that is taken off the tax roll. A bill of sale, receipt from a junk or salvage yard, or an accident report is acceptable proof.
Where do I pay my taxes?
The PVA Office cannot accept payment for taxes. All county property taxes are paid to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office.
All city bills are paid to the City of Springfield.
How do I find out information about a certain property?
The PVA offers a free basic property search that will help you find information about property ownership. If you are looking for more detailed information, you can purchase a Subscription Service for access to more detailed information such as transfer history, property photos, improvement characteristics, property class, and tax information. See our subscription service area for more information.
How do I learn how much a certain property sold for?
The PVA’s Subscription Service allows you to view the transfer history for any property, when available, perform a Sales Search or view a list for Property Sales for a specific date range. Sales Search allows you to search by sale price and date range, acreage, year built, type of sale, neighborhood, limit to qualified sales and other features.
How do I know if I’m eligible to apply for an assessment exemption?
You can find out if you’re eligible for an exemption in the Exemptions section of this website.
How do I dispute my property assessment?
Each year, you can appeal your current property assessment. To learn more about how to appeal your assessment, visit Real Estate Appeals Process.
How do I fix incorrect information about my property?
Contact Us if the PVA has information about your property that is inaccurate to ensure it is corrected. Also, you may receive an assessment notice in the mail if your property’s assessment has changed.
How do I add, change or remove the name on my property or tax bill?
Although the County Sheriff’s Department is responsible for the collection of the tax bill, all name changes are made in the PVA office. If you wish to add, change or remove a name on your property record and/or tax bill, you must record an official document such as a deed or will with the appropriate office.
Why did my assessment go up this year?
Your assessment is often based on what comparable homes are selling for in your neighborhood. Also, your property is usually only revalued once every four years. The increase reflects all four years’ worth of appreciation.
We would be happy to meet with you any time to discuss the sales and reasons behind your assessment.
If I purchase property after January 1st, when will I get a tax bill?
If you purchased property after January 1st of any tax year, you will not receive a tax bill in your name, until the following year. Depending on when you purchased the property (normally prior to August 1), your name will appear as a c/o or not at all.
However, depending on your closing statement, you may be required to pay the tax bill in the previous owners’ name. This should be an adjustment of your closing costs and determined at the time of closing. Taxes will be based on the current year’s assessment value which may be different than your sales price.
I moved in my house in February, why can’t I get the homestead until next year?
Real Estate taxes are determined AS OF JANUARY 1st. You will not be eligible for the Homestead Exemption until you are in the property, as of January 1st.
I bought my house in April for less than the tax bill says. Why do I have to pay the higher amount?
Real Estate taxes are determined AS OF JANUARY 1st. Therefore, the value at that date is what our office has determined to be the value at the beginning of the tax year. Your real estate taxes may be adjusted for the purchase price the following tax year. However, you are responsible for paying the entire amount of the tax bill.
The neighbor next door gets a discount? Why don’t I?
Your neighbor may be getting a special exemption because they are elderly or disabled.
Can I get the Homestead Exemption for Commercial Property?
You may get a Homestead/Disability Exemption for Commercial Property only if you own AND occupy the building (e.g. you live on the second floor of the commercial building).
What determines the assessment of vehicles?
All automobiles, trucks, boats, boat trailers, motorcycles, aircraft, and recreational vehicles must be assessed as of January 1 of each year. Motor vehicles are generally taxed in the county of registration. If you have assessment questions regarding motor vehicles or boats, please contact the PVA office.
I do not agree with the value of my vehicle. How can I get it lowered?
The PVA may be able to lower the value of your vehicle if you have excessive mileage or damage. If you have assessment questions regarding your motor vehicle assessment, please contact the PVA office.
I have either sold a vehicle or moved out of state. What should I do now?
To remove your vehicle from the tax roll, you can supply the PVA with either:
- A copy of a bill of sale or
- A copy of the front and back of the KY title indicating
you transferred the vehicle. If you moved out of state, you may provide the PVA with a copy of your new title, or a copy of your registration.
My car went out of state. Why didn’t that state notify you?
Other states do not make Kentucky aware when a vehicle is transferred out-of-state. Unfortunately, you have to contact both offices to ensure that the vehicle has been properly removed from one state and registered in another state.
Where did the assessed value on my tangible returns come from?
Your tangible property assessed value is based on the tangible return you filed with our office in May.
Why does the person down the street with all the land have a lower value than mine?
The person down the street from you with acreage may have a lower value because they qualify for an Agricultural and Horticultural Exemption.
Property (usually defined as greater than 10 acres actively used for an agricultural or horticultural purpose) has a specific agricultural value and is not taxed the same as a residence.
What does the tax rate consist of?
The tax rate consists of a state tax rate, a county tax rate, a city tax rate (if applicable), a library tax rate, a health dept tax rate, an extension office tax rate, airport tax rate, and a school district rate. In Washington County we also have fire dues that are administered to all taxing districts, with the exception of the city of Springfield district. Fire fees are limited to two fees per district, per property owner.
How much do you get off for the Homestead/Disability Exemption?
The Homestead/Disability Exemption for 2021 is $40,500 which comes off of your assessment every year for both county and city taxes.