Daviess property taxes to remain the same

Al Mattingly

Daviess Fiscal Court will not raise property taxes this year.

Court officials will have the first reading of an ordinance relating to the adoption of the 2019 Daviess County tax rates at its regular 5 p.m. meeting on Thursday, Aug. 15, at the Daviess County Courthouse. The decision of the commission is to keep the same rates as last year, Daviess Couty Judge-Executive Al Mattingly said.

"We received the state's assessment of roughly $6.4 million," he said. "The state gets their assessments from the PVA, and they send their figures on what a compensating rate would do, a 4% increase would do and keeping it the same would do. Based on what we decide to do, there is a derivative on the personal property tax. It is the consensus of the court to keep it the same as last year. There will be no increase in county property taxes."

In fact, when the court does vote to maintain the current rate, there will be some property taxes that will go down, said County Treasurer Jim Hendrix.

"The state sends the county a document called The Certification Assessment for Local Government," he said. "That is sent to the Department of Local Government and the county treasurer. The Department of Local Government will then send a worksheet on real property, tangible personal property, public service property, distilled spirit, motor vehicles, watercraft, tobacco in storage, aircraft, etc. The court is going to keep the real property rate the same. The tangible personal property rate will drop because it is a derivative. The 2018 county tax rates will stay the same or decrease in some cases."

Essentially, the county will receive an assessment on property and the state will run a calculation to determine the compensating rate, which is the rate that will give the county the same revenue that it had last year. If revenues go up, then that compensating rate goes down. The court is then left with the decision to take the compensating rate, leave the taxes the same or increase property taxes up to, but not exceeding 4%.

"In Kentucky, if a local government tries to set a higher rate than the 4% percent rate, it is subject to recall," he said. "In other words, the voters vote on it. Typically, local governments don't do that. They will set something between the compensating rate and the 4%. Or, anything in between them. You can set lower, you can take the rate as is or you can take the 4% or anything in between. It creates a top and bottom threshold."

A major reason that the court does not intend to raise property taxes is because it will be raising the occupational and net profits taxes over the next two years to address budgetary concerns brought on by ailing revenue streams, Hendrix said. They only consider a tax raise when there is a need, he said.

"The commission will typically look at revenue and expenses to look for whatever need there is," he said. "They don’t raise taxes unless they have to do it. Because we are raising the occupational and net profits taxes, our projection is leaving the property tax rates the same will be sufficient to cover the requirements for the next year."

Out of the aforementioned taxable items, real property, tangible personal property and motor vehicle are the major sources of revenue for the county; with real property bringing in roughly $8.1 million, tangible bringing in roughly $992,000 and motor vehicle bringing in about $1.2 million.

To calculate one's real property tax for the county, at the current rate of 13.5 cents per $100 of value, they would divide the total worth of their home, for instance, divide that figure by 100 and multiply it by 0.135, giving the number for their county property tax. While this number may seem small, even exciting to some, it is not an accurate depiction of what they will owe across their taxing jurisdictions, Hendrix said.

"These are only Daviess County’s piece, not a person's total tax bill," he said. "They will also be taxed in other taxing jurisdictions like schools, state, library, the extension office and health districts."

Jacob Mulliken, 270-228-2837, jmulliken@messenger-inquirer.com

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