Community

West Louisville neighborhoods were included in the areas where property values were re-assessed this year, and there’s still time for homeowners to appeal the results.

The deadline for appeals is Monday at 4 p.m. Representatives from the Jefferson County Property Value Administrator’s office and community organizations said appeals are necessary to ensure people’s homes are valued correctly, especially because it can mean saving people from overpaying in property taxes.

Values are assessed on a four-year rotation. This year, they include the west and southwestern parts of the county.

Evan Westphal, who is director of special projects at the PVA’s office, said property values in west Louisville are finally returning to higher levels after years of post-housing crisis decline. He spoke at a press conference Friday hosted by the Louisville Urban League. But large, new developments in the area could increase values further, and the rise in property values could have a less savory effect.

“That’s a great thing for equity and for homeowners, property owners,” Westphal said. “But of course, it typically will translate to somewhat higher property taxes when you get your tax bill from the sheriff’s office later this year.”

Westphal said property value appeals are important for helping homeowners know the fair price of their property, and for the PVA to make sure its assessments are as accurate as possible. PVA workers are not able to enter homes for assessments, so homeowners should share pictures of issues or fixes that could affect the value.

The PVA’s office mailed out this year’s property assessments on April 26. So far, they have received about 1,000 appeals, Westphal said. He expects at least as many more by Monday’s deadline.

Amina Elahi | wfpl.org

Louisville Urban League CEO Sadiqa Reynolds speaks at a press conference on Friday, May 17.

Sadiqa Reynolds, CEO of the Louisville Urban League, encouraged property owners to pay attention to their assessments.

“I think this is really important that people need to understand the consequences of the assessment, there’s a possibility of having to pay more taxes,” she said. “And we understand that that could really be a breaking point for lots of people in this community.”

West Louisville includes some of the poorest areas of the county, and property values have been depressed by historic policies such as redlining.

Amy Shir is the director of LHome, a local nonprofit that provides financial tools and services to promote economic development in markets where people need help with housing. She said keeping up with tax bills can protect people from losing their homes, and said her organization can help with that.

“We really want to help you get caught up with your property tax bills, pay your current property tax bills, and not get upside down in debt and interest rates and fees that are charged with these unpaid bills,” she said.

Homeowners can appeal their property valuation a variety of ways. They can visit the Jefferson County PVA office at 815 W. Market Street on Saturday, May 18, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. or on Monday, May 20, until 4 p.m. Those who prefer to file by phone can call (502) 574-6224 to make an appointment. And appeals can also be filed online through the PVA website.

PVA staff will also be available to help people file their appeal at the Shawnee and Shively branches of the Louisville Free Public Library on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The deadline to appeal is Monday at 4 p.m.

Amina Elahi is WFPL's City Reporter.