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(Note: This question is not about sales tax.)

We paid the Registration on our van last November, which includes property/usage tax. This month we turned over the vehicle to the dealer from whom we bought another vehicle. Now we got a notice from the county clerk that we have to pay the property/usage tax AGAIN. I can't get a clear answer from anyone at the county clerk's office. Is that because even though the Registration was Nov '15 - Nov '16, the property tax was for a calendar year? Kentucky's fiscal year run July 1 - June 30 so it was the same fiscal year. One other explanation is that property taxes on vehicles are collected in arrears, i.e. at the end of the period that they are due, but that seems unlikely and I can't find anything on the web that indicates that is the case.

If someone else buys the vehicle and registers it in Kentucky and also pays the property tax then that is double taxation, and I don't mean two different taxes or one tax on two different objects, I mean the SAME tax on the SAME object. I understand that the vehicle may end up out of state or junked but I doubt that if it IS registered again in Kentucky and the new owner pays property tax on it, that the state will give me back my money.

  • In my state (Virginia) you also have to contact the county to tell them you no longer own the vehicle, because the county is the car tax authority. In recent years the state and the county computer systems have done a better job of being in coordination, but it is still advisable to tell the county. Does Kentucky have a similar requirement. In other words does the tax office and DMV communicate information on new, changed, and cancelled registrations? – mhoran_psprep May 30 '16 at 12:04
  • @Chris, thanks for edit. Your text is much more appropriate. I don't like ALL CAPS either. I guess I used it because before I posted my question I did a search and found questions where people kept providing answers for questions that the OP did not ask and got flustered. Poor form on my part. – Andrew Steitz May 31 '16 at 13:42
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    (FWIW, I added the united-states tag only. Somebody else fixed the caps issue. Clicking the "edited ___ __ at __:__" link will show you the history.) – Chris W. Rea May 31 '16 at 13:59
  • @ChrisW.Rea LOL. I am a developer so I use stackoverflow very regularly. I actually clicked the "edited..." to see the changes and you're name was at the top – Andrew Steitz Jun 8 '16 at 13:03
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You pay in advance - and there are no refunds.

I bought a van last fall, and paid no property tax on it, because it was already covered through whatever end date the registration had.

I will pay taxes on it this year, though (presuming I still have it).

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Kentucky property tax is assessed as of the owner on January 1 of each calendar year. In April you should be notified of what KY considers you to owe them, and you have a two week period in May to appeal those decisions (though it appears that you can only appeal Real property tax assessments). The final tax bill is then sent to you in the fall, by October, and you have until the end of the year to pay the bill.

See Kentucky Property Tax Calendar Overview for more details.

Thus, if you owned the car on Jan 1 2016, then you should owe personal property tax on it for 2016 due in the fall. You may not have owed the tax paid in November, if it was indeed personal property tax, unless the seller was asking you to recompense them for the tax they paid in 2015.

Note that property tax is separate and distinct from usage tax, the 6% tax for vehicles paid at purchase date (once and only once).

  • Upvoted both but Warren answered first so he got the "accepted" answer – Andrew Steitz Jun 8 '16 at 13:05

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