County property values rose by over $6 million this past year largely as result of the Property Valuation Administrator’s office working to find and add previously unreported properties and improvements to the tax rolls.
McCreary County PVA Bruce Lominac finalized the 2016 assessment, which will be used to calculate property tax bills for the coming year.
What the increase means for the County is additional revenue from property taxes, without having to raise rates.
Overall residential value increased about $7.5 million to $219,217,612 from 2015 and commercial properties also saw an increase of about $1.9 million, to $81,598,235. Farm values saw a decrease of about $2.9 million to $48,129,313.
In all, property values increased about $6.4 million to $348,945,160 over last year.
All credit goes to the wonderful people I have in this office,” Lominac said. “They went out and beat the bushes to find property that was not listed in our database.”
“By finding these properties, it makes it more equitable for everyone,” he added. “The majority of our tax payers are families who already struggle to make ends meet, and it is unfair for them to shoulder the burden alone.”
Lominac said one of the largest problems Kentucky, and McCreary County face comes with properties designated as “farms,” which allow property owners to pay taxes at a lower rate than actual assessed value.
According to the Lexington Herald Leader last year Kentucky waived $36.6 billion in property taxes to properties designated in farms, which carries a huge tax break for property owners. Though intended for actual “working” farms, the newspaper found 43 properties in the Lexington area alone that carried the exemption while being marketed for development.
“These days we have very few legitimate ‘farms’ in this county, but tons of property remains on the rolls as farms having never been re-designated, and creating a grand amount of inequality for those who fairly pay on their property’s fair market value each year,” Lominac said.