Tuesday, 11 of May of 2021

Real Estate Taxes in Kentucky

One of the most confusing parts of a real estate transaction is who pays the property taxes, when those taxes are due, how to pay the taxes, and how much tax will be due. I hope this guide will help you understand how the process works.


In Kentucky, taxes are assessed each year on January 1 by the local Property Valuation Assessor. The property owner of record on January 1 is the person in whose name the tax bill will be issued. This means that if you buy your property in the middle of the year, the tax bill will come out in the name of the prior owner and NOT your name. Hopefully you will receive the tax bill at the proper address, but it is a very real possibility that you may not.

Keep in mind that it is the buyer’s obligation to determine what taxes are due and to pay them at the end of the year. If you buy property, you cannot depend on the PVA and Sheriff to send you the tax bill. You need to affirmatively seek out the taxes you owe and pay them in a timely manner.

The PVA calculates the tax bill based on the tax rate applicable to the property in question. For instance, if you live in the city limits of Murray, your tax rate is different than if you live in Hazel. And each city and county has its own tax rate as well. Marshall County’s tax rate is going to be slightly different based on whether you live in Benton or Calvert City. And Graves County’s rate is going to be different from Lyon County’s rate.

Here are the links to the various PVA offices to help you determine what your tax liability will be.

Calloway County PVA

Marshall County PVA

Graves County PVA

Lyon County PVA

Trigg County PVA


After calculating the amount due on each bill, the PVA has a record of the taxpayer and sends out the tax bills to the last known address for each taxpayer in the fall of each year.

Here in Calloway County, the tax bills are sent out on October 15 and can be paid with a discount by November 15. The deadline to pay without penalty is December 31, and the Calloway County Sheriff’s Department here in Murray even has access to the current year’s tax bills online at its website.

For instance, in Marshall County, the tax bills are sent out on October 1 and can be paid with a discount until November 1. The deadline to pay the tax bills without penalty remains December 31. You may pay your tax bill by mail or in person at the office of the Marshall County Sheriff in Benton, Kentucky.

If you live in Graves County, your tax bills will run on the same timeline as Marshall County. The bills will be sent out around October 1 and can be paid with a discount until November 1. As long as you pay your tax bill to the Graves County Sheriff in Mayfield on or before December 31, there will be no penalty.

Most of the surrounding counties are on a similar schedule. If you live in Western Kentucky, Trigg County taxes can be paid to the Trigg County Sheriff in Cadiz, and Lyon County taxes can be paid to the Lyon County Sheriff in Eddyville.


Now that we know when the taxes are due, how to find out how much is owed, and where we go to pay our taxes, the question always arises – who is responsible for paying the taxes at closing?

Unless instructed otherwise, I will prorate the taxes due at each closing I conduct. This means that for most of the year, the seller will pay the buyer an amount equal to the estimated portion of their taxes for the year, as of the date of closing. Until the tax bills come out, we don’t actually pay the taxes due at closing, we just give the buyer the seller’s portion so the buyer can pay them when the tax bills are out.

From the time the tax bills are sent out in October until the end of the year, at closing I will either pay the taxes due and prorate the amount between buyer and seller OR give seller a credit for the taxes which they have already paid. If you are selling property during this time of year, please be in communication with our office so that we can determine whether we will pay taxes at closing or if you are going to pay them ahead of closing.

I hope this guide has been beneficial in helping you understand how real estate taxes work in Western Kentucky. After closing thousands of real estate transactions over the years, I would love to be the real estate attorney who helps you close on your next property. Feel free to call me at 270-761-4558 or email me at greg@gregtaylorlaw.com if you have any questions that I did not cover in this guide.

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