Overview of Kentucky Taxes
Property taxes in in Kentucky are relatively low. The typical homeowner in Kentucky pays just $987 annually in property tax, less than half the national average. The state’s average effective property tax rate is 0.82%.
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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 Tax
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 in Kentucky are relatively low. In fact, the typical homeowner in Kentucky pays just $987 annually in property tax, less than half the national average. The state’s average effective property tax rate (annual tax payments as a percentage of home value) is also low at 0.82%.
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 1.15%. Martin County has the lowest rate at a mere 0.49%. Below, we’ll look at rates across all 120 Kentucky Counties and the property tax rules every Kentucky homeowner should know.
Kentucky Property Tax Rules
Property taxes in Kentucky follow a one year cycle, beginning on January 1st of each year. That’s the assessment date for all property in the state, so taxes are based on the value and owner of property as of January 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 (described in further detail below) are calculated during the summer and tax bills are sent out in the autumn, typically by either October 1st or November 1st. In areas where bills are sent out by October 1st, homeowners who pay their bill by November 1st 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 21%.
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.
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.
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Home to more than 15% of the entire population of Kentucky, Jefferson County is easily the most populous in the state. In 2003 the county government merged with that of the city of Louisville. The two now operate as single entity: the Louisville/Jefferson County Metro Government or simply Louisville Metro. Property tax rates in Jefferson County are higher than the state averages but still relatively low. The average effective tax rate in the county is 0.93%.
There are seven different tax districts in Fayette County with total rates for the 2014 tax year ranging from 1.01% to 1.18%. However, effective rates in the county are below 1% because they incorporate the 2% discount on tax bills that are paid early as well as the homestead exemption for seniors. Fayette County’s average effective tax rate is 0.94%.
Located in northern Kentucky across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Kenton County has the second highest property taxes in the state. The average effective property tax rate in Kenton County is 1.12%, well above the state average of 0.82%.
The typical homeowner in Boone County pays $1,627 annually in property taxes. That is nearly $600 less than the national average, although it is much higher than the state average of $987. Homeowners who pay their bills by November 1st in Boone County are eligible for the 2% discount on the total face amount of the bill.
The fifth most populous county in Kentucky, 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 0.70%.
Like Warren County, property taxes in Hardin County are relatively low. The average effective rate is 0.71%. At that rate, a homeowner whose home has a value of $200,000 would pay $1,420 annually in property taxes.
Tax rates in Daviess County vary depending on whether or not you live in a city. In 2014 real estate that was not located in any city was taxed at a rate of 0.997% of assessed value, while city real estate faced a rate of 1.47%. Those are actual rates, which apply to assessed value. Effective rates, which take into account exemptions and the discount for early payment, are lower.
If you are looking for a bargain on property tax rates in Kentucky, Campbell County may not be your best bet. The county’s average effective property tax rate is 1.15%, highest in the state. However, that rate is still lower than the U.S. average of 1.19%.
Madison County is located in central Kentucky, southeast of the city of Lexington. Property taxes in Madison County are lower than those in nearby Fayette County. The average effective rate is 0.80%, meaning a person with a $150,000 home would save about $200 annually on property taxes by living in Madison County instead of Fayette County.
Bullitt County sits south of Louisville and contains the 40,000 acre army base Fort Knox. Property tax rates in Bullitt County rank 9th in the state, with an average effective tax rate of 0.92%. At that rate, someone with a home value of $200,000 would pay $1,840 every year in property taxes.
Property Tax: Which Counties are Getting the Best Bang for Their Buck
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 for their property tax dollars. To do this we looked at school rankings, crime rates and property taxes for every county.
As a way to measure the quality of schools, we calculated the average math and reading/language arts proficiencies for all the school districts in the country. Within each state, these schools were then ranked between 1 and 10 (with 10 being the best) based on those average scores.
For each county, we calculated the violent and property crimes per 100,000 residents.
Using the school and crime numbers, we calculated a community score. This is the ratio of the school rank to the combined crime rate per 100,000 residents.
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.
Finally, we calculated a tax value by creating a ratio of the community score to the per capita property tax paid. This shows us the counties in the country where people are getting the most bang for their buck, or where their property tax dollars are going the furthest.
Sources: US Census Bureau 2016 American Community Survey, Department of Education, Federal Bureau of Investigation, State Police or Justice Department websites