Some Jefferson County homeowners shocked by property tax hike

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) – Some Jefferson County residents went into sticker shock after opening their property tax bills this week.

Mark Decker lives in Florida but owns a house in Valley Station that he rents out, and when he received his property tax bill for his Louisville home this year, he said he was shocked.

“I was stunned,” Decker said. “I looked at him, and he almost doubled.”

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Some people who live in Jefferson County contacted WAVE 3 News after receiving much higher property tax bills this year.(News from WAVE 3)

Decker said most of the increase came from Jefferson County Public Schools; what the school district charged this year nearly matched its entire bill from last year.

“I know we need money for school, I know we need it, but the bottom line is they’re going to kick everybody out of Jefferson County if they’re not careful,” he said. Decker said.

He added that Jefferson County overvalued his home during its reassessment this year.

The county reassessed 120,000 homes in neighborhoods including the Highlands, Iroquois Park, Clifton, Jeffersontown and St. Matthews before property tax bills were released this year. This has resulted in increased property taxes for many people.

Ed Williamson, real estate agent and broker at RE/MAX Properties East, says the booming real estate market is another reason for the high bills. According to Williamson, Jefferson County is basing property taxes on sales prices, which have skyrocketed of late.

“Prices have really gone almost crazy,” Williamson said, referring to home prices on the market. “What we’ve had now for a year and a half is that the market has been so inflated that these sale transactions have increased people’s property taxes,” he added.

Additionally, JCPS’ 9.5% tax hike, which was approved by a judge in 2020, was on property tax bills for that year. Taxpayers may have noticed a “School Add” line on their bills, which is extra money the county couldn’t collect last year because the matter was court-related.

“I visit Louisville a lot,” Decker said. “It’s my hometown. I’m a huge Cardinals fan, but we have to think about our people instead of our pockets.

Jefferson County is giving people the option to appeal their property value assessment, but the deadline has passed. Disabled veterans and people age 65 and older can still apply for an exemption by click here.

Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.

Penny D. Jackson