Kathy H. Witt
Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of the Fayette County Sheriff serves as the primary collector of current-year ad valorem taxes on real and tangible properties within Fayette County. Each year, the Office of Sheriff collects over 110,000 property tax bills worth in excess of $320 million on behalf of our county’s eight taxing jurisdictions. The Sheriff is responsible for the distribution of these collected taxes to the appropriate taxing authorities and all associated accounting.
Please select from the frequently asked questions below for further information on your specific area of interest.
Frequently Asked Questions
Click each question to expand and see answer.
When are property tax bills issued?
Property tax bills are mailed each year no later than September 30th and are payable according to the following schedule:
|Paid by November 1st||2% discount|
|Paid by December 31st||Face value|
|Paid by January 31st||5% penalty|
|Paid by April 17th||21% penalty|
When are property tax bills due?
Mailed payments will be accepted for the amount due on the date of the postmark. Note that a postal meter date is not acceptable proof of posting. Property tax due dates are set by statute and the Office of Sheriff has no authority to negotiate deadlines or offer extensions.
Bills not paid by April 16, 2018 become delinquent with a penalty of 21% and are transferred to the Fayette County Clerk for collection. Additional costs, fees, and interest are added after this date and the bills may be subject to sale to a third-party.
How do I pay a tax bill at Republic Bank?
Payments may be taken to any Lexington Republic Bank location lobby or drive-through until January 31st. If paying at Republic Bank, the taxpayer must present the tax bill coupon along with his or her payment.
Payments at Republic Bank may be made with cash, checks, or money orders. Please click here for a complete list of Lexington Republic Bank locations.
How do I pay a tax bill at the Sheriff's office?
Payments may be made in-person at the Office of the Fayette County Sheriff. Our Property Tax Division is located in Room #236 on the second floor of the Fayette District Courthouse at 150 North Limestone.
Payments are accepted between 8:00 AM and 4:00 PM (or until 6:00 PM during the month of October) and parking is available in the public garage on Barr Street. We accept cash, checks, or money orders for payment.
How do I pay a tax bill by mail?
Please send payments by mail to:Office of the Fayette County Sheriff
PO Box 34148
Lexington, KY 40588-4148
Please enclose a check or money order payable to “Fayette County Sheriff” along with your tax bill coupon. If you cannot enclose a tax bill coupon, please write the tax bill number, account number, and property address on your check or money order. You may obtain this information from our Property Tax Division at (859) 252-1771.
How do I pay a tax bill online?
Payments may be made online here. You must have your tax bill number and account number to make payment. If you do not have this information available, please contact our Property Tax Division at (859) 252-1771.
Online payments may be made with any major credit card (Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover) or by a direct debit from your checking or savings account. A convenience fee applies to online payments and you will have an opportunity to review these fees before proceeding with your payment. Please note that convenience fees are charged by financial institutions for processing your transaction and that the Office of Sheriff receives no portion of these charges.
Can I make partial payments on my property tax bill?
The Office of Sheriff is unable to accept installment payments on any property tax bill. Payment in full must be received in order to be processed and any partial payments will be returned to the issuer.
What if my mortgage company is supposed to pay my tax bill?
If your mortgage company has requested to receive your property tax bill for the current tax year, you will receive an informational letter instead of a tax bill. However, if you receive a tax bill and believe your mortgage company should be making payment, please contact your lender immediately for instructions. If you require a duplicate copy of your tax bill for your lender, please contact our Property Tax Division at (859) 252-1771 and we will be pleased to provide you or your lender with a copy.
Can I pay multiple bills with a single check?
We will accept a single check as payment for multiple bills. Please make sure you enclose tax bills coupons for all bills which you are paying or otherwise submit documentation clearly showing all bills you wish to pay. Also please verify that your check total equals the total amount due for all of your bills to avoid delays in processing.
How do I obtain a receipt for my property taxes?
If you are paying your tax bill in-person at the Sheriff’s Office or any Lexington Central Bank location, you will receive a receipt at the time of your payment. If you wish to obtain a receipt for a payment made by mail, please include a self-addressed stamped envelope and a receipt will be returned to you. If paying online, you will be given the option of printing a receipt or having a receipt emailed to you at the end of the transaction.
How do I change the name or address on my property tax bill?
The name and address on your property tax bill is provided to the Sheriff by the Property Valuation Administrator. If this information is incorrect or otherwise needs to be changed, please contact the Property Valuation Administrator at (859) 246-2722. Note that if a property has recently been sold, there may have been insufficient time to update the owner’s name and address prior to the tax bill being printed. If this is the case, you may still wish to contact the Property Valuation Administrator to verify that the updated ownership information has been received and processed.
What period of time is covered by a property tax bill?
A tax bill represents the taxes due on a property from July 1st of the year in which the bill is issued through June 30th of the following year.
What if I have bought or sold the property for which I'm being billed?
A tax bill represents the taxes due on a property from July 1st of the year in which the bill is issued through June 30th of the following year. Unless a property actually closes on July 1st, one party will owe the other party for a portion of the taxes that have been paid or will be due.
If sold prior to July 1st, the buyer will usually pay the seller a prorated tax amount from the closing date until June 30th. If sold after July 1st, the seller will usually pay the buyer a prorated tax amount from July 1st until the closing date. In either case, the buyer would then be responsible for paying the bill in its entirety.
The exact determination of responsibility and the calculation of prorated taxes are handled by the attorney or agent conducting the closing and should be reflected on your settlement statement (HUD-1.) If you receive a bill for a property you have bought or sold and are uncertain as to your responsibility for the bill, please review your settlement statement or contact your closing agent for further information. If you have received the tax bill and determine the other party is responsible for the taxes, please forward the tax bill or contact our Property Tax Division at (859) 252-1771 and ask that a copy of the tax bill be mailed to him or her. Prorated bills are not issued by the Office of Sheriff and prorated payments cannot be accepted.
What if I haven't received a tax bill?
If you have not received your tax bill by the second week of October, please contact our Property Tax Division at (859) 252-1771 and a duplicate bill will be sent to you promptly.
How is my tax bill calculated?
How is the taxable value of my property determined?
The assessed value on which your tax bill is based is determined by the Property Valuation Administrator and by statute reflects the fair cash value as of January 1st of the current tax year. Please contact the Property Valuation Administrator at (859) 246-2722 should you have any questions regarding your assessment.
What are homestead or disability exemptions?
Homestead or disability exemptions reduce the taxable value (and accordingly the tax amount due) for a home that you own and within which you live if you are 65 years of age or older or if you are totally disabled. Please note that exemptions will reduce your tax liability but will not eliminate your tax bill completely unless your home’s assessed value is less than the exemption amount. For further information on eligibility or the application process for an exemption, please contact the Property Valuation Administrator at (859) 246-2722.
What are the tax rates and taxing jurisdictions for Fayette County?
Please click here for real property tax rates or click here for tangible property tax rates. Your property type or location determines the exact tax rate to be applied to your property. The Office of Sheriff collects taxes on behalf of the following taxing jurisdictions:
- Commonwealth of Kentucky
- Fayette County Board of Education
- Lexington-Fayette Urban-County Government (General Services)
- Lexington-Fayette Urban-County Government (Full/Partial Services)
- Fayette County Extension District
- Fayette County Soil & Water Conservation District
- Lexington-Fayette County Health Department
Note that there is no separate “city” bill issued for property taxes in Fayette County.
What if my tax payment is returned for insufficient funds?
Upon notice that a check has been dishonored by the issuer’s financial institution, the tax bill will be unpaid. The tax bill is then due for the current amount, including any penalties or loss of discounts based on the repayment date. A $35.00 processing fee for each check returned will also be due the Office of the Sheriff. Note that, pursuant to KRS 514.040, any dishonored check issued as payment for property taxes may constitute a criminal offense and may subject the issuer to criminal prosecution.
How can I determine if there are any delinquent taxes for a property?
Pursuant to statute, the Office of Sheriff only collects current year real estate and tangible property taxes. Delinquent taxes for any prior year(s) are collected by the Fayette County Clerk. Please contact the Clerk at (859) 253-3344 or visit their website for further information on delinquent property tax inquiries, amounts due, or payment instructions.
How can I purchase delinquent tax liens or properties?
The Office of Sheriff no longer conducts a delinquent tax lien sale. Statutory changes have made this the responsibility of the County Clerk. The Clerk conducts a tax lien sale each summer for the previous year’s delinquent tax bills. Any bill not sold remains available for purchase from the Clerk throughout the year. Please contact the Clerk at (859) 253-3344 for further information on purchasing tax liens. Note that neither the Sheriff nor the Clerk can provide you with legal advice regarding tax liens. Please refer to Chapter 134 of Kentucky Revised Statutes or consult a legal professional for information on your rights and responsibilities as a lienholder.
Purchase of a tax lien by itself does not constitute ownership of a property. Any real property sold pursuant to a court-order, including for delinquent property taxes, is sold through the Master Commissioner’s Office. Please contact the Master Commissioner at (859) 246-2127 or visit their website for information on upcoming sales.
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