Many Daviess Countians got a big shock last week when they opened mail from the Daviess County Property Valuation Administrator’s office to find the value of their homes had increased — sometimes significantly.
Rachel Pence Foster, the county’s PVA, said preliminary figures — before appeals are heard — show assessments are up 5.5% this year to $6.4 billion.
That’s the most since a 5.96% hike in 2005.
“All of these numbers are based on preliminary figures,” Foster said. “The open inspection period is July 6-20. Many changes can and will occur during this time. The assessments are based on values as of Jan. 1, 2020.”
When property is sold, it is reassessed at the sale price.
And new buildings are assessed when they are completed.
Otherwise, the PVA office reassesses one-fourth of the county each year.
Last year, it was the area bounded on the east by Frederica Street and on the south by Parrish Avenue.
This year, it’s the section south of Parrish and west of Frederica.
Next year, it will be the area east of Frederica and south of Parrish.
The past two years saw big increases in property values downtown.
But this year, the big increase is primarily driven by rising residential prices.
Realtors have said since 2013 that a shortage of homes on the market is driving prices up.
Karen Gross, president of the Greater Owensboro Realtor Association, said the median price of the 1,312 homes sold between June 2018 and June 2019 was $142,000.
A year later, the median price of the 1,319 homes sold was $153,500.
That’s an increase of 8.098% in one year.
And this May, home sales saw a median price increase of 10.7%.
“We are definitely seeing the effects of the low inventory pushing the prices higher,” Gross said. “We are seeing properly priced homes have multiple offers.”
The Griffith Avenue area, one of the hottest spots in town for residential property, saw big increases in home values this year.
A random check of property values on Griffith Avenue found houses with increases from $131,500 to $210,350; $169,000 to $187,100; $230,000 to $355,150; $380,000 to $460,800; $330,800 to $439,550; $457,700 to $602,850; $514,200 to $689,050; $570,700 to $702,500 and $693,500 to $1.059 million.
But it wasn’t just the more expensive houses that saw increases.
On Carpenter Drive, off Tamarack Road, houses increased in valued from $46,800 to $85,100; $91,600 to $102,000; $86,000 to $95,400; $78,900 to $94,200; $60,000 to $95,100; $110,000 to $133,500; $122,000 to $194,500; and an apartment building from $638,000 to $910,000.
Countywide, Foster said, residential property increased in value by 6.01% to $4.05 billion.
Farms were up 7.67% to $469.4 million.
And commercial property increased 4.45% to $1.87 billion.
There are now five residential homes — four of them on Griffith Avenue — and one farm home valued at more than $1 million, Foster said.
That’s up from three last year.
Kentucky allows people who are 65 and older or disabled to lower the assessed value of their homes by $39,300 under the Homestead Exemption Act.
The amount increases every two years.
The next increase should come next year.
This year, 8,974 homes will receive that deduction based on the age of the residents and 986 because of the owner’s disability.
The Homestead Exemption took $391.4 million off the total value of residential property for tax purposes.
Government buildings, churches and certain nonprofits do not pay taxes on their property.
In Daviess County, that’s $1.7 billion worth of property this year.
In her letter to property owners, Foster wrote, “This value (of the person’s property) was based on market conditions that existed as of the statutory assessment date of Jan. 1, 2020. Any market changes associated with the COVID-19 pandemic emergency will be reflected in this office’s analysis of property values as of the Jan. 1, 2021, assessment date.”
People can check their assessments — and their neighbor’s — on the PVA’s website, www.daviesskypva.org.
The site also has a tax calculator that lets people see roughly what their property taxes will be this year — if the rates don’t change.
If nothing changes, city and county governments and school districts will get an increase in the amount of taxes collected without raising their rates.
But they won’t know how much the increase will be until the state certifies the assessments later this summer.
People who want to appeal their assessments have to start with a conference with a member of the PVA staff.
If an agreement can’t be reached, the property owner can file an appeal with the Daviess County Clerk’s Office by July 21.
The PVA office number is 270-685-8474.
In the past 20 years, the largest increase in assessments was 8.73% in 2000 and the smallest was 0.71% in 2010 — during the Great Recession.
Foster said her office reassesses property by looking at the price of sales in the area being reassessed, the square footage of the property and the age of the building.
Buildings of similar size and age that haven’t sold recently are reassessed at the higher rate, she said.
Foster said her office physically inspects all property from the outside every four years.
“We use aerial mapping every two to three years to check for additions to the property — expansions of the building, swimming pools, things like that,” she said. “If we see an addition, we ask to physically measure it.”
Year Assessment percentage Increase
2020 $6,383,154,025 5.5%
2019 $6,047,825,561 4.74%
2018 $5,773,940,598 3.83%
2017 $5,561,209,721 3.76%
2016 $5,359,571,930 4.70%
2015 $5,119,218,690 2.96%
2014 $4,972,113,684 3.27%
2013 $4,814,538,194 2.81%
2012 $4,682,871,209 1.71%
2011 $4,604,151,883 1.80%
2010 $4,522,587,984 0.71%
2009 $4,490,729,541 4.68%
2008 $4,290,012,426 5.16%
2007 $4,079,342,002 5.08%
2006 $3,882,286,682 4.64%
2005 $3,710,071,578 5.96%
2004 $3,501,351,908 6.39%
2003 $3,291,113,858 3.18%
2002 $3,189,652,078 3.34%
2001 $3,086,620,894 5.23%
2000 $2,933,262,743 8.73%
Keith Lawrence 270-691-7301, email@example.com