OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) — After 75 years in their location in Downtown Owensboro, the VFW Post 696 may have to find a new home. The news comes after VFW officials say their city tax bill went from 8,000 dollars to over 27,000 dollars.
“All of the buildings that have been built down here. We’ve got the convention center, the two new hotels, the Bluegrass Museum, the condos going across the street, it’s made property taxes go sky high,” said Joey Benningfield, VFW Posts 696 Commander.
The post sits right along the riverfront sending the worth of this prime piece of real estate through the roof. Right now, the location is valued at close to 2 million dollars and officials say that number will only continue to rise.
“It was going to happen sooner or later, it was just a matter of when the property values were going to do what they’re doing to them,” said Mayor Tom Watson.
While the post is considered a nonprofit, they are classified as a 501-C19 which means they are exempt from federal taxes but can still be taxed at the local level. In order to try to get the tax bill lowered, the post is attacking the problem at the state level.
“A couple years ago I think, a bill was introduced in Frankfurt to allow them to be exempt it failed. They appealed through the PVA, she did everything she could for them, it was turned down,” said Daviess County Judge Executive Al Mattingly.
Mattingly says the post’s best bet moving forward would be to take their issue to the general assembly.
“I’m a veteran, I spent three years in the army, I absolutely support what they’re trying to do but Daviess County Fiscal Court and the City of Owensboro, we have no authority to do what they’re asking,” said Mattingly.
(This story was originally published on October 01, 2019)