Many citizens understand the basic duties of local governments, agencies and departments, but it’s always important to be reminded of their responsibilities and services for the public.
This informative series will give readers a rundown on what various offices in Adair County can offer to them.
While the Property Valuation Administrator has one major role, it’s a hard one.
PVA is responsible for fairly setting the property assessment for all parcels in Adair County, which is now totaling over 14,000.
While this does affect taxes, the PVA does not set the tax rates.
“All we do is set the assessment and by state statute, we have to have that as close to fair market value as possible,” said Adair County PVA Landon Edwards.
Edwards is proud that a field representative from Frankfort, who shows how close assessments are to what things are selling for, reports that the Adair County PVA office is 94 percent in accuracy.
To get the assessment they set, PVA deputies go to every area of the county once every four years and inspect all property in that area, but do not go inside homes.
Setting the assessment for homes is the hardest part of the job, says Edwards.
“There’s a lot of challenging parts of the job. You want to be as fair to the taxpayers as you can and we have over 14,000 parcels, so it’s a matter of going through and trying to be as fair as possible with the taxpayer.”
Once the PVA office has given property tax assessment, the Adair County Sheriff’s office takes over for sending out the tax bills and taking payments for them.
While the pivotal role of PVA is to set property assessments, Edwards and his three deputies Kevin Shepard, Whitney Kemp and Bobby Keys like to go beyond that to help local citizens if possible.
“We try to help any way we can,” says Edwards. “I’m here to serve the taxpayer and that’s what I want to do.”
A taxpayer can go to the PVA office to get an adjustment on vehicle taxes if they have changes or problems with their car.
Taxpayers may also sign up for Homestead Exemption, a service that Edwards and his staff are trying hard to inform residents who are eligible for it.
The Homestead Exemption allows those with disability, military disability or just those who are 65 or older to have $39,300 taken off their property’s assessed value, therefore lowering the property tax.
Business owners must pay a tangible tax, and while the PVA office doesn’t take the taxes, they are a location for business owners to turn in their required forms for the tax.
Edwards provides a website at adairpva.com, which allows basic information for free but subscribers get access to all records in the PVA office system, which Edwards hopes to make available to the public for free in the future.
The public can go to the office to get maps or printouts of property, something that Edwards says that not everyone knows about.
The PVA office has a map with every single parcel drawn on it, along with each parcel’s deed name and number for convenience.
The PVA sometimes gets mistaken as being responsible for deeds or county roads, and while they can’t help the public with that, Edwards and his staff will always try to assist a taxpayer as much as they can by giving them a copy of any information the PVA office would have that would help that taxpayer with their visit elsewhere.
“We are here to serve at the leisure of the taxpayer so anytime we can help, please contact me, don’t think that its going to be a problem,” said Edwards. “Let’s keep an open line of communication and we can talk about anything. I’m here to serve the taxpayer and that’s what I want to do.”
For questions regarding the services that the Adair County PVA office can provide, contact their office at 270-384-3673 or visit them at 424 Public Square, Suite 2.
By Anna Buckman