By Derek AaronRussell County News EditorIn Oct. 4 Issue
This year’s total real estate assessment in Russell County is more than $727 million, up from over $672 million just one year ago, according to Rodney Owens, the county’s property valuation administrator.
The actual figure is $727,291,988; an increase of around $55 million in assessed real estate since last year.
“It’s up quite a bit this year,” Owens said. He said there were three reasons for the jump.
“Partly new property, partly properties selling higher than what we have listed for and then, third, properties we have re-appraised this year,” he said.
He said his office re-appraised the eastern third of Russell County this year.
“We’ve really not seen property go down around here,” Owens said. “I know nationwide there are areas where it has, but not around here.”
Owens said property sales have slowed down because there is just not a great deal currently on the market, with the exception of foreclosures and master commissioner’s sales, which always sells low.
He said people that are buying land are purchasing it as is, despite its condition or the possibility of leans.
When Owens started as PVA in 1973, the total real estate assessment was around $50 million.
“It has made a huge jump since then,” he said.
Owens said the real estate tax rate for this year is down slightly from a year ago.
The way the state of Kentucky expresses these rates are cents per $100, he said.
“This year’s rate is 84.17 cents per $100 of assessment,” Owens said. “In other words, if a property was assessed for $1,000, it would be 10 times 84.17 cent or $8.41.”
Last year’s rate on real estate was 84.56 cents per $100, according to Owens.
Owens showed a print-out of what each tax district can collect, not including delinquencies..
He said the state can collect $1,159,125, the county fiscal court receives $560,647, the school gets 3,738,040, the health department gets 242,109, the library gets 286,237, the hospital gets 546,114, the cooperative extension office gets 161,208, the ambulance service gets 301,697 and the soil conservation service gets 65,457. These figures do not include cents.
Owens said tax bills would be mailed at their regular time near the end of this month and the sheriff’s office will start collecting them the first of November.
“As the total county assessment goes up, normally the rate will come down a little bit because the assessment is higher the tax districts are limited by law as to how much more money they can collect than last year,” he said.
“Some years, as the assessed value has gone up it has taken enough of a jump to where they have to lower their rate to collect the same amount of money as they did last year or can even lower the rate and collect more money than they did last year.”
Owens said the county’s growth in business and new industries also has an affect.
“Anytime you put more people to work and put more money into the economy it is good for everybody,” he said.
“If a person doesn’t directly benefit from it, we all indirectly benefit from it.”
He said the county’s property values also benefited from Lake Cumberland as this county’s numbers have risen in recent years, even on non-lake properties, more so than neighboring counties that aren’t touching the lake.
Owens, who will retire on Oct. 31, said he can look back over the past 35 years as PVA and is amazed at how the county’s property assessments have risen.
“This county has really grown a lot,” he said. “We have a progressive county.”