Delinquent Taxes Frequently Asked Questions

Answers are based on KRS Chapter 134

A tax is considered “delinquent” when the due date of a specific real estate tax assessment has passed and by statute any appeal rights have expired. Jefferson County real estate property tax notices are mailed out in late October or early November by the County Sheriff’s Office and are payable to the County Sheriff’s Office beginning November 1. They become delinquent on January 1, following their due date and are maintained and collected in the County Sheriff’s Office until April 15 each year. The Sheriff transfers any unpaid taxes to the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office, accruing statutory penalties as well as interest at 1% per month until paid. Two additional notices are mailed by the County Attorney, the first week of May and the first week of June. The bills are advertised in the Courier Journal approximately 30 days before the scheduled tax sale date. (KRS 134.015)

Yes, delinquent tax collection fees and interest will be added to the bill when it becomes delinquent. These fees change periodically according to changes in the statutes. The current tax bill fee schedule is as follows:

During Sheriff’s Collection Period (KRS134.015 & 134.119(7)
November 1 – December 1 2% Discount
December 2 – 31 Gross Tax
January 1 – 31 5% Penalty
February 1 – April 15 10% Penalty + 10% Ad Fee
During County Clerk’s Collection Period
April 16 – April 30 Sheriff’s Commission
(KRS 134.122 (2)(d))
1% Interest for April (KRS 134.125)
10% County Clerk Fee
(KRS 134.126 (9))
20% County Attorney Fee
(KRS134.504 (7)(a))
$10 Lien Fee (KRS 64.012 (7) & (8))
May 1 – May 30 1% Interest for May
30 Day Mail Fee for first notice
( KRS 134.504 (4)(d))
June 1 – June 30 1% Interest for June
60 Day Mail Fee for second notice (KRS 134.504 (4)(d))
Advertising Fee for Courier Journal Ad (varies from year to year)
(KRS 134.128 (5) (a))
County Clerk Ad fee $5.00
(KRS 134.128 (5) (b))
July 1 – Sale Date 1% Interest for July

Once the sale occurs if the bill is sold, there will be additional penalties assessed by the 3rd party purchaser. If your bill is sold, you would need to contact and pay directly the 3rd party purchaser of your tax bill. If the bill is not sold, it continues to accrue interest at 1% per month.

Delinquent taxes may be paid in person by visiting the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office at Metro Hall, 527 W. Jefferson St., Suite 100A, in downtown Louisville. If you are unable to visit our office, full payment can be mailed to:

Jefferson County Clerk
527 W. Jefferson St, Suite 100A
Louisville, Kentucky, 40202

Forms of Payment Accepted include and are limited to:

By Mail or In the Office

  • Certified Check
  • Cashier’s Check
  • Money Order

In the Office Only

  • Cash
  • Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or AMX

We do not accept payments over the phone
at this time.

No. It is important to note that if partial payments were allowed, a lien would remain on your property until payment is made in full. Additionally, as long as a balance remains on your delinquent tax account, a third party could purchase your tax bill without warning. The purchase could neither be anticipated nor prevented by the County Clerk. The County Attorney may be able to offer you an installment payment plan before the end of June each year. Please call that office 502.574.6331. Once your tax lien is purchased by a 3rd party, they may also offer an installment plan. Contact the buyer directly for more information.

Yes. A lien is filed against the specified real property you own in Jefferson County. The lien is filed with the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office and is a public record of the amount you owe. It could affect your ability to obtain credit or sell real estate. The cost of releasing the lien will be added to the delinquent tax account at the time the lien is filed. Currently the cost is $10.

Kentucky Law allows any individual or company to purchase delinquent tax bills that are not flagged by the County Attorney as being on the protected list. Protected bills include bills that are involved in Bankruptcy, Pending Litigation, or are on a Payment Plan with the County Attorney. The sale of tax bills can not be anticipated nor prevented by the County Clerk.

The lien (Certificate of Delinquency) which is held by the County Clerk’s Office is then assigned to the 3rd Party Purchaser and the document is recorded in the land records of the County Clerk’s Office. The 3rd Party Purchaser then has 50 days to give notice that the tax bill has been purchased. Payment must be sent directly to the 3rd Party Purchaser, along with the associated penalties and interest assessed by them after their purchase. There are statutory guidelines regulating what can be charged by a 3rd Party Purchaser. Once you pay the 3rd Party Purchaser, they will file a Release of Assignment of Certificate of Delinquency with the County Clerk’s Office within 30 days of receipt of payment.

The buyer may institute a foreclosure action in court against you for the unpaid debt one (1) year after the bill becomes delinquent. Bills become delinquent on January 1, example: 2012 tax bills became delinquent on January 1, 2013 and will qualify for foreclosure on January 1, 2014. However, some buyers may be in no hurry to collect the debt, given the interest rates charged, and may simply hold the certificate as long as your equity in the property exceeds the tax debt. The statute of limitations for the Certificate of Delinquency is11 years following the date the taxes become delinquent.

Some buyers do change addresses without contacting the debtors. Contact the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office at 502.574.5884 to verify the mailing address of record for the 3rd Party Purchaser and then send a “registered” letter to the buyer at the verified address. If the letter is unclaimed, you may pay the Jefferson County Clerk your debt directly. The Clerk will calculate the bill on behalf of the 3rd Party Purchaser and release the lien on your property. The funds are deposited into an escrow account to await the 3rd Party Purchaser claims.

No. However, mortgage companies and other creditors do contact the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office to inquire about delinquent taxes. If your credit bureau report shows an open tax lien, it probably is not for Delinquent Real Estate or Tangible taxes. Usually these liens are placed by the Commonwealth for income or other taxes. If your credit report shows that there is a Certificate of Delinquency or other tax lien on your property, you may obtain a copy of the lien and or release directly from the Jefferson County Clerk’s Office at 502.574.6220.

Tax bills are collectable by the County Clerk until the Statute of limitations runs out at 11 years following the date of delinquency however; the County Attorney can force a foreclosure action anytime prior to the 11 years.

That depends. In some cases, tax bills may be sent to the wrong address; if this is a governmental error, some penalties can be waived. However, property owners should expect to receive a yearly tax bill. According to the Kentucky Department of Revenue, not receiving a tax bill or being unfamiliar with Kentucky tax laws are not reasons to waive a penalty and interest on a delinquent tax bill. Interest cannot be waived under any current statutes. If you do not receive a bill in November, you will need to follow up with the County Sheriff’s Office at 502.574.5479 and press 1 to speak with a Sheriff’s Office tax clerk.

The information listed on this website is provided for your convenience. Any amount due for taxes, fees and/or charges are subject to change and will be based on the current amount due at the time of payment.  The Jefferson County Clerk’s Office is not responsible for information or data obtained from unofficial dated sources.  A certified copy may be obtained in person at the following address:

Metro Hall,
Office of the Jefferson County Clerk
527 West Jefferson St., Room 100A
Louisville, KY 40202

Afrikaansالعربية简体中文HrvatskiNederlandsEnglishFrançaisDeutschItalianoPortuguêsРусскийEspañolTiếng Việt