On The Floor

2019 County Tax Snapshots

Click on your county below to download a snapshot of your county’s tax structure, including information about the top three tax revenue sources in your county.

Every county’s economy is unique and that means every county has a unique tax structure. Traditionally, counties have relied on property taxes as a primary source of revenue. Over time, however, counties have turned to other revenue streams that better suit the needs of their residents.

Those include occupational license and insurance premium taxes, each of which are increasingly important to county budgets. In fact, while only three-quarters of counties impose one, occupational license tax revenue now makes up nearly forty percent of all county tax revenue. Real estate property taxes come in second with 29 percent of revenue and insurance premium taxes are a distant third with 8.4 percent of revenue.

Click on your county below to download a snapshot of your county’s tax structure, which includes the top three taxes as a percent of tax revenue for your county and information about the top ten county taxes across the state. 


County Tax Snapshots

Additional Information

1. Occupational License - 39.1%

The occupational license tax is a payroll tax for businesses in the county. In FY2018, 79 counties – excluding Jefferson and Fayette – collected $252.8 million in revenue. In 2019, 82 counties levied an occupational license tax. Rates ranged from 0.35 to 2.25 percent with an average of 1.0 percent.

2. Real Estate - 29.2%

Every county levied a tax on property and in FY2018, the tax brought in $188.5 million, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties. Rates ranged from 3.2 cents to 48.5 cents per $100 assessed value in 2018 with an average rate of 12.7 cents.

3. Insurance License - 8.4%

Insurance license taxes are a tax on insurance premiums. The tax brought in $54.2 million in revenue in FY2018, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties. Forty-four counties have an insurance premium tax in FY2020 ranging from 2.0 to 10.0 percent, with an average rate of 5.88 percent.

4. Motor Vehicle - 4.6%

Taxes on motor vehicles, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties, added up to $30 million in revenues for counties in FY2018, equal to 4.6 percent of all county tax revenue. This was the fourth most significant source of tax revenue for counties in FY2018.

5. Net Profits - 3.5%

Net profit taxes, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties, brought $22.8 million in revenue to counties in FY2018. This was the fifth most significant source of tax revenue for counties in FY2018 and represented 3.5 percent of all tax revenue.

6. Tangible personal property - 2.9%

Taxes on tangible personal property, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties, added up to $18.8 million in tax revenue in FY2018 and was the sixth most significant source of tax revenue for counties. Taxes on tangible personal property represented 2.9 percent of tax revenue across counties.

7. Telephone/911 - 2.9%

Taxes on telephone/911 brought in $18.4 million in revenue for counties in FY2018, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties. The tax represented 2.9 percent of tax revenue across counties and was the seventh most significant source of tax revenue for counties in FY2018.

8. Franchise Corporation - 2.4%

The franchise corporation tax applies to public service companies. The tax brought in $15.2 million in FY2018, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties. The tax represented 2.4 percent of tax revenue across counties and was the eight most significant source of tax revenue for counties in FY2018.

9. Bank Franchise - 1.9%

The bank franchise tax brought in $12 million in FY2018, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties. This tax represents 1.9 percent of tax revenue across counties and was the ninth most significant source of tax revenue for counties in FY2018.

10. Deed Transfer - 1.8%

Deed transfer taxes equaled $11.6 million in tax revenue in FY2018, excluding Jefferson and Fayette counties. This tax represents 1.8 percent of tax revenue across counties and was the tenth most significant source of tax revenue for counties in FY2018.

 


Source

Author's analysis of data from information reported to the Kentucky Department for Local Government (Uniform Financial Information Reports – UFIRS, FY2018). 117 counties reported information to UFIRS in FY2018. Wolfe County did not report for 2018 and therefore 2016 data are used, which are the most recent year for which data are available. Data for Jefferson and Fayette Counties are not included in this analysis. Johnson County does not report using major object codes is therefore excluded.

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