Rising vehicle value could cost Kentucky residents more to renew registration

Vehicle values increase in 2022
Driving a Car
Posted at 11:34 PM, Jan 12, 2022

COVINGTON, Ky. — Kentuckians may be in for a bit of sticker shock while renewing their car registration this year.

In a memorandum sent earlier this week, Kentucky's Office of Property Valuation estimated the value of motor vehicles will go up more than 40% in 2022 — an increase people will likely notice while renewing their registration.

Kenton County Clerk Gabrielle Summe said some of the issue is supply and demand. New vehicle production has decreased due in part to a shortage of necessary computer chips, resulting in months of price hikes.

WCPO 9's John Matarese spoke Wednesday with Tri-State resident Pat Ormond, who got an offer to trade in his 2019 minivan for $7,000 more than the purchase price. Kelly Blue Book says used car prices rose more than 25% in 2021 due to a shortage of new cars. The average used vehicle is now worth a record $29,000, up from $27,000 over the summer.

While a vehicle’s value might have increased seemingly overnight, drivers can expect to fork over more for property taxes.

“I was really surprised when I mailed in my new sticker for 2022 what the increase was,” said Al Taylor of Covington.

Taylor bought a 2021 Honda Passport last June. He was expecting to pay roughly $400 to renew his SUV’s registration.

“Mine was almost $650,” Taylor said. “That’s an every year deal in Kentucky.”

Taylor said he understands why there’s an increase in what he’s paying, but that doesn’t alleviate the frustration.

“In order to keep driving your car, you have to pay that big tab," Taylor said. "It’s not good — not good.”

This week, state legislators introduced a proposal aimed at putting some money back in the pockets of Kentuckians. House Bill 6 would require the "standard value" of motor vehicles to be the average trade-in value.

Currently, the state uses a rough, or clean trade-in value, to assess how much a motor vehicle owner will owe for renewing registration.

The proposed bill would also give tax refunds to vehicle owners who have paid more in taxes than the average trade-in value.

Local county clerks say people who think they are overpaying can appeal the process by going to their county's property valuation administration.

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