We are seeing an increased interest in real property tax appeals in 2020 from our clients. It is no wonder, given the current economic situation. Even the Jefferson County Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) has opted not to conduct residential or commercial reassessments in 2020.
However, taxpayers cannot wait until the real estate tax bill comes out in the Fall to protest the assessed value. By that time, the value is set by law and it cannot be protested. Taxpayers must normally dispute the property tax values of real property set by Property Valuation Administrators in Kentucky counties during a two-week period beginning on the first Monday in May. But in April 2020 the Kentucky Department of Revenue directed the PVA offices to delay the property tax calendar by 60 days so that the tax roll "inspection period" in 2020 will run from July 6 to July 20,, 2020.
Some, but not all, PVA offices have been updating their websites to reflect these new deadlines.
The Jefferson County PVA, for example, which conducts its conferences online, has updated its website to state, "The Jefferson County PVA requested and has been granted an extended period, from Noon June 26th - 4pm July 20th, 2020 for Jefferson County property owners to complete the first step of the appeals process: The Online Conference. During that time, if you think your assessment does not represent the fair market value of your property, by law, you can request a review from the Jefferson County PVA by participating in the Online Conference process." Available at https://jeffersonpva.ky.gov/property-assessment/conference/.
The Fayette County PVA has similarly updated its website to state, "Due to service interruptions resulting from the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the 2020 Property Tax Calendar will be delayed…. June 8 – July 20 – The official protest period for conferencing with the PVA about 2020 assessments." Available at https://fayettepva.com/assessments-appeals/. Importantly, the Fayette county PVA's website designates July 17 as the last day to initiate a protest conference regarding 2020 values.
Property values must be disputed with the PVA before the end of the inspection period, even though the County Sheriff sends out property tax bills for real property in the Fall; otherwise, the right to appeal is lost. The last day to file a formal appeal of a property tax assessment from a PVA's decision to the County Board of Assessment Appeals with the County Clerk is the day after the open inspection period ends. The Fayette County PVA's website states, "July 21 [is the] last day to file a formal appeal of 2020 property tax assessments with the Fayette County Clerk (appeal may not be filed unless a protest conference with the PVA was completed no later than July 20)." Available at https://fayettepva.com/assessments-appeals/.
In Jefferson County, required online conferences with the PVA office are not new to 2020; but required online protests are new for Fayette County, which is now requiring that "[a]ll protests must originate online at FayettePVA.com with follow-up occurring by email and telephone." Other county PVA offices may or may not hold in-person conferences
Ask yourself if your property's value for tax purposes is greater than the amount that you could get if you sold the property – particularly given the overall state of the real estate market. If so, you should consider taking steps to reduce your 2020 real estate tax bill.