Overview of Kentucky Taxes
Property taxes in in Kentucky are relatively low. The typical homeowner in Kentucky pays just $1,120 annually in property taxes, around half the national median. The state’s average effective property tax rate is 0.86%.
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To calculate the exact amount of property tax you will owe requires your property's assessed value and the property tax rates based on your property's address. Please note that we can only estimate your property tax based on median property taxes in your area. There are typically multiple rates in a given area, because your state, county, local schools and emergency responders each receive funding partly through these taxes. In our calculator, we take your home value and multiply that by your county's effective property tax rate. This is equal to the median property tax paid as a percentage of the median home value in your county.
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Jennifer Mansfield, CPA, JD/LLM-Tax, is a Certified Public Accountant with more than 30 years of experience providing tax advice. SmartAsset’s tax expert has a degree in Accounting and Business/Management from the University of Wyoming, as well as both a Masters in Tax Laws and a Juris Doctorate from Georgetown University Law Center. Jennifer has mostly worked in public accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Deloitte. She is passionate about helping provide people and businesses with valuable accounting and tax advice to allow them to prosper financially. Jennifer lives in Arizona and was recently named to the Greater Tucson Leadership Program.
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Kentucky Property Taxes
Thinking about buying a home in the Bluegrass State? Good news: property taxes in Kentucky are relatively low. In fact, the typical homeowner in Kentucky pays just over $1,100 each year in property taxes, which is much less than the $2,090 national median. The state’s average effective property tax rate (annual tax payments as a percentage of home value) is also low at 0.85%.
Of course, where you choose to live in Kentucky has an impact on your taxes. Campbell County has the highest average effective rate in the state at 1.18%, while Carter County has the lowest rate at a mere 0.54%.
Whether you’re looking to purchase a new home or refinance your current one, the process of getting a mortgage can be stressful. Take a look at our guide to mortgages in Kentucky to ease the process and allow you to make a well-informed decision.
A financial advisor in Kentucky can help you understand how homeownership fits into your overall financial goals. Financial advisors can also help with investing and financial plans, including taxes, homeownership, retirement and more, to make sure you are preparing for the future.
Kentucky Property Tax Rules
Property taxes in Kentucky follow a one-year cycle, beginning on Jan. 1 of each year. That’s the assessment date for all property in the state, so taxes are based on the value of the property as of Jan. 1.
Real estate in Kentucky is typically assessed through a mass appraisal. This technique uses data on sales in the marketplace, as well as property-specific factors such as home size and date of construction, to calculate a market value for each home. Homeowners who disagree with their assessed value can file an appeal with the county clerk.
Tax rates are calculated during the summer and tax bills are sent out in the fall, typically by either Oct. 1 or Nov. 1. In areas where bills are sent out by Oct. 1, homeowners who pay their bill by Nov. 1 receive a 2% discount on the total amount. Conversely, homeowners who do not pay until January face a 5% penalty. In February, the penalty is an additional 10%, meaning the total late fee is actually 15%.
Kentucky Property Tax Rates
Tax districts in Kentucky include cities, counties, school districts and other special districts. Those districts set rates each year based on the total assessed value in the district and the amount of revenue they need. Thus, rates change annually. Typically, however, these changes are small.
The table below shows the average effective tax rates for every county in Kentucky. Effective tax rates are calculated by taking the median annual property tax payment as a percentage of the median home value. They reflect the amount a typical homeowner can expect to pay each year.
|County||Median Home Value||Median Annual Property Tax Payment||Average Effective Property Tax Rate|
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Home to more than 15% of Kentucky's residents, Jefferson County is easily the most populous county in the state. The county also has the ninth largest median tax payment of $1,478. And at 0.93%, property tax rates in Jefferson County are higher than the state average (0.86%), but are still relatively low compared to the rest of the U.S. (1.08%).
Fayette County’s average effective tax rate is 0.98%, which is fairly low on a national scale. The same goes for the county's median annual tax payment, which is $1,717 in comparison to the U.S. median, which is $2,090.
Located in northern Kentucky across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Kenton County has some of the highest property taxes in the state. The average effective property tax rate in Kenton County is 1.14%, well above the state average of around 0.86%.
The typical homeowner in Boone County pays $1,738 annually in property taxes. That is considerably less than the national median ($2,090), but is much higher than the state median of $1,120. Homeowners who pay their bills by Nov. 1 in Boone County are eligible for a 2% discount on the total amount of the property tax bill.
Warren County has property tax rates far lower than those of the state’s other major counties. The average effective property tax rate in Warren County is just 0.75%, with a median annual tax payment of $1,142.
Like Warren County, property taxes in Hardin County are relatively low. The average effective rate is 0.79%. At that rate, a homeowner whose home has a value equal to the state median of $148,000 would pay $1,167 annually in property taxes.
Tax rates in Daviess County vary depending on whether or not you live in a city. For example, real estate not located in a city is taxed at a rate of 1.07459% of the property's assessed value, while city real estate faces a rate of 1.33695%. Those are actual rates, which apply to assessed value. Effective rates, which take into account exemptions and the discount for early payment, are lower. The average effective tax rate for the county is 0.96%.
If you're looking for a bargain on property taxes in Kentucky, Campbell County may not be your best bet. That's because no county in the state has a higher average effective property tax rate than Campbell at 1.18%. Even worse, that's 0.10% higher than the national average, which currently sits at 1.08%.
Madison County is located in central Kentucky, southeast of the city of Lexington. Average effective property tax rates in Madison County are lower than those in nearby Fayette County. The average effective rate is 0.82%, meaning a person with an $150,000 home would save almost $250 annually on property taxes by living in Madison County instead of Fayette County.
Bullitt County sits south of Louisville and contains Fort Knox, a 40,000-acre military base. Property tax rates in Bullitt County rank 13th in the state, with an average effective tax rate of 0.94%. For reference, a homeowner with property worth the county's median home value of $153,100 would be on the hook for $1,446 annually in property tax payments.
Places Receiving the Most Value for Their Property Taxes
SmartAsset’s interactive map highlights the places across the country where property tax dollars are being spent most effectively. Zoom between states and the national map to see the counties getting the biggest bang for their property tax buck.
Our study aims to find the places in the United States where people are getting the most value for their property tax dollars. To do this, we looked at property taxes paid, school rankings and the change in property values over a five-year period.
First, we used the number of households, median home value and average property tax rate to calculate a per capita property tax collected for each county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we analyzed the math and reading/language arts proficiencies for every school district in the country. We created an average score for each district by looking at the scores for every school in that district, weighting it to account for the number of students in each school. Within each state, we assigned every county a score between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on the average scores of the districts in each county.
Then, we calculated the change in property tax value in each county over a five-year period. Places where property values rose by the greatest amount indicated where consumers were motivated to buy homes, and a positive return on investment for homeowners in the community.
Finally, we calculated a property tax index, based on the criteria above. Counties with the highest scores were those where property tax dollars are going the furthest.