Nearly three weeks remain to collect signatures for a petition being circulated to place the question of the county's tax increase on the November 2020 ballot. The proposal is to increase the tax to 19.6 cents per $100, which was approved by the county fiscal court in September.

Because the timing of the filed petition, the county's tax bill -- which is typically sent out on the first of October -- is now pushed back, causing a lot of citizens to wonder what the county's tax rate will be for 2019.

In a press release sent out from the Madison County Sheriff's Office, they "will begin collecting the 2019 County Property Tax Bills on Nov. 15. The delay is due to a petition which is being circulated under KRS 132.017. Those who have escrow accounts, mortgage companies are aware of the new dates."

According to Colleen Chaney, deputy county judge/executive, the only way to send out one tax bill for the 2020 tax season is to produce a bill after the deadline has passed for citizens to acquire signatures.

If the group circulating the petition does collect all 3,780 required signatures, it will then be verified by the county clerk.

Assuming the petition is proven valid, the 19.6 cent per $100 rate is suspended and placed on the November 2020 ballot -- two taxing seasons away.

"A tax bill will be produced from the sheriff's office that will reflect all approved tax districts and government rates will take a tax rate of 8.3 cents," Chaney told The Register.

The 2019 County Property Tax Bills will be mailed Nov. 14. Taxes paid between Nov. 15 through Dec. 15 will receive a 2% discount. From December to Jan. 15, the taxes will remain at the face amount, and from Jan. 16 to Feb. 16, there will be a 5% penalty. Any payments submitted after that time will face a 21% penalty.

For the city of Richmond, who collects their own taxes at City Hall, bills were sent out on Sept. 24. If paid prior to Oct. 31, there is a 2% discount. November 1 through Dec. 31 is face value and, if paid after Jan. 1, there is a 10% penalty and 15% interest per month.

For the city of Berea, tax bills were sent out on the same date and are also only collected by the city. If taxes are paid by Nov. 30, there is a 2% discount. If payments are made after Dec. 31, there is a 10% penalty with 10% interest per month. Payments can be mailed or paid in person at 212 Chestnut Street or paid online at bereaky.gov.

Individuals with questions about the county tax bills, may contact the Madison County Sheriff's Office at 859-623-1511. In addition, questions to the fiscal court about the proposed increase can be sent to questions@madisoncounty.us.gov.

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