Owensboro property tax increase for VFW Post 696

Owensboro property tax increase for VFW Post 696

OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - In Owensboro, property taxes on the river are increasing. For the VFW Post 696 that means their prime riverfront location could be in jeopardy.

Along the riverfront, the land is increasing in value, but that brings an increase in property taxes.

“As property values have increased in Owensboro they’ll bump up a little bit, and bump up a little bit, then bump up a little more. It wasn’t until the 2019 reappraisal of properties that they jumped more than 423 percent," said VFW Post 696 secretary, Chuck Kucera.

Daviess County Property Valuation Administrator Rachel Foster said the county is required by the state to reappraise land every four years.

The land where the VFW sits was appraised for more than $1.8 million. Commander Joey Benningfield said that spiked his organization’s property taxes by $20,000 this year.

“You know, you do a balance sheet. We’re gonna be hurting if we have to keep paying $28,000 a year in taxes," said Kucera.

Now, to stay where they are, the VFW is asking for the communities help.

“We are hopeful that the patriotic citizens of the state of Kentucky will tell their legislators let them be where they are,” said Kucera.

“That river is a very emotional thing," said VFW Post 696 Commander, Joey Benningfield. “It calms you down. It’s a great view. Combat veterans should be able to enjoy the great view here at the riverfront. And it does help, it helps a lot.”

Mayor Tom Watson said the city would like for the VFW to stay in its current location.

“They are on a very nice piece of property and we’d like for them to stay there, but it’s gonna be difficult for them to pay their property tax,” said Owensboro Mayor, Tom Watson.

The VFW is asking the community to send letters of support to the Kentucky state legislature in approval for organizations like the VFW to be tax-exempt.

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