The Commonwealth of Kentucky adopted the title Property Valuation Administrator (PVA) in place of the more commonly used county tax commissioner or tax assessor. Each of the 120 counties has a PVA Office with a locally elected PVA.
The PVA Office is required to administrate "ad valorem" taxes. Ad valorem is Latin for "according to value," which means that taxes are based on the value of the property. The Kentucky Constitution describes property tax as a tax on wealth rather than a tax on the individual.
Section 172 of the Kentucky Constitution requires the PVA to assess all property at 100% fair cash value, as of the assessment date of January 1, unless specifically exempted. Fair cash value, or fair market value, is defined as the price a property would bring at a fair and voluntary sale between a willing buyer and a willing seller, with neither party under duress, given a reasonable amount of time on the market. The PVA does not set market value. Rather, the PVA’s task is to analyze the market and insure that assessments of unsold properties follow the market determined by buyers and sellers.
Kentucky law provides for direct supervision of all PVAs by the Finance & Administration Cabinet. Every year the Cabinet evaluates the performance of each PVA to determine if it has met the constitutional and statutory requirements. The PVA's tax roll must meet required assessment levels and adhere to required standards of equity before it is certified, an obligation that must be met before tax rates can be set and before tax bills can be printed and collected.
The PVA is also responsible for listing all tangible personal property as of January 1 of each year. The PVA receives and enters the data for all tangible personal property tax returns in Fayette County.
Values for tax purposes on all automobiles, recreational vehicles, watercraft, etc. are placed by the PVA Office using standardized values provided by the Finance & Administration Cabinet. The PVA may make adjustments due to high mileage and costs to repair with proper documentation.
Tracking ownership changes, maintaining tax maps, updating building characteristics and administering exemptions for real property are also continuous duties of the PVA Office.