Tim Lizer, PVA Administrator for Bourbon County, now in his second year of office reports that the reassessment process is continuing for all of Bourbon County.
“We must submit property reassessments each year by April 1,” Lizer said, “Last year we only had time to visit 1546 properties by the deadline. This year, because we have had more time there will likely be 3500 new assessments submitted to the state for certification.”
The PVA office is a state office and Lizer reports to the Property Valuation Office in Frankfort as a division within the state’s Department of Revenue.
“My job, as defined by KRS Statutes, is to assess property values for tax purposes,” Lizer said, “and state law requires that I visit and assess every property in Paris and Bourbon County once every four years.”
This turns out to be a daunting task. “There are a total of 9000 properties to be assessed each four years,” Lizer said, “and it will take four years to complete the cycle and review every property, residential, farm and commercial in Bourbon County.” Properties have to be visited and reassessed every four years by state law.
According to Lizer, assessments will be higher on most properties. One of the reasons is that much of Bourbon County hasn’t been assessed on a regular basis.
“Most of the farm and commercial property hasn’t been assessed since 2005,” Lizer said. This means that market value inflation along with any new structures built on the property will result in higher assessments and will be reflected in the tax bill. He added that literally hundreds of new structures have been built in the last 15 years on farm and commercial properties that haven’t been placed on the tax roll.
Lizer said that tax rates could be reduced as a result of the higher assessed values.
“For example,” Lizer said, “if a taxing organization takes the compensating rate set by the state, it is possible that the tax rate will have to be reduced in order not to exceed allowable increases in revenue by state statute.”
Both the City of Paris and Bourbon County Fiscal Court have announced they will use the compensating rate for the next fiscal year. The Public Library has announced that they will set a rate slightly less than the compensating rate. Another example of the impact of increased assessments is that the Bourbon County Board of Education reduced their real property tax rate, but will realize increased revenue of 4 percent due to higher assessments.
“I want to be fair to every property owner in this process,” Lizer said. For example, he cited that for residential property, assessments are based on actual sales that have occurred in the neighborhood. This means that the assessments will reflect the real estate market.