Legislature backs delay for Indiana farmland tax hike

February 19th, 2013

This news was reported today by the IBJ:

New calculations for property taxes on Indiana farmland would be delayed for a year under a proposal approved by the state Legislature.

The Indiana House voted unanimously Monday in favor of the delay that the Senate approved last month.

The bill would stop the state from using updated soil quality figures that were projected to lead to an average 25 percent increase in tax payments for farm owners.

Supporters of the delay say that the new calculations could lead to $57 million in property taxes being shifted to farmland.

The bill requires state tax officials and Purdue University agriculture researchers to prepare a review of the soil productivity measurement for the Legislature to consider next year.

The measure now goes to Gov. Mike Pence for his consideration.

2012 Reassessment

July 18th, 2012
2012 Reassessment

Notices of the new assessed values for the 2012 pay 2013 reassessment have already begun to be mailed.  Scott and Jennings Counties were the first to go out, and several have followed quickly behind them.  (See the box to the right for appeal filing deadlines.)

As we suspected the new assessed values are all over the place. Some have increased or stayed the same, but many of the new values are lower than the 2011 values. In some cases as much as 20% lower.  This is most likely due to two things:

1.  The cost tables used by the Assessors to create the values, are lower than they were in the previous reassessment.

2.  Depreciation for a property is updated during a reassessment. 

Beware of the lower assessments.  While on the surface this seems like good news, the lower assessed values may in fact cause a taxpayer to pay more next Spring when the tax bills come out.

How could this be?  It is very likely that tax rates will dramatically increase due to the lower values.  Basically here is how tax rates are calculated : The Budget Needed to Run the Taxing District, divided by The Assessed Values of the Taxing District.  Based on this calculation, if the assessed values are lower, the tax rates will have to increase in order to cover the budget needs.

What about the Tax Caps?  Most taxing districts have not yet hit their Commercial Property tax cap of 3% (More if there is an approved school referendum in the district.)

Here’s a real world example we just encountered:

2011 Assessed Value   $1,631,900

2012 Tax Bill – $31,104 based on a 1.9% tax rate

2012 Assessed Value   $1,310,700 (about a 24% decrease)

2012 pay 2013 Potential Tax Bill at 3% – $39,321

Our advice to all of our clients is to expect the best, but prepare for the worst.  Our recommendation is to set your 2013 budgets at the 3% rate.

One final word on the new values. Just because they are lower, that does not make them accurate.

Whether the value of the property has increased, decreased or stayed the same, remember that there are ONLY 45 day from the date of the notice to file an appeal.   You can’t wait until next year to see what the tax rates are.  Now is the time to act!!

Filing Deadlines
Scott County: July 16th

Jennings County: July 16th

Allen County: August 2nd

Jackson County: August 13th

Owen County:  August 15th

Wabash County:  August 20th

Huntington County: August 20th

Benton County: August 20th

Boone County: August 24th







2012 Reassessment

November 6th, 2011

The Assessors have a state mandate to perform a reassessment for all properties in their district for the 2012 pay 2013 tax year. That process has already begun.

This involves someone in, or representing the Assessor’s office to acutally go out and physically inspect each property for changes, both residential and commercial.

For now this may affect you in a couple of ways:

1. You may see someone measuring and taking pictures of your property.

2. You may receive a survey in the mail requesting that you confirm certain characteristics about your property, or provide income information. Proceed cautiously when completing these forms. They can have a big impact on the future tax bill you may pay. Call us if you are in doubt about what to do.

More on the reassessment in the coming months.

Real Estate Tax Bills

May 2nd, 2011

The Department of Local Government Finance today
announced that for the first time since 2002, property tax bills in 90 counties
have been issued on-time, resulting in the normal May 10 due date. This is the
second consecutive year the majority of counties have achieved on-time billing,
representing a stabilization of the property tax assessment to billing cycle.
Last year, 85 counties billed on-time, while only two counties – Kosciusko and
Owen – billed on-time in 2009. No county achieved on-time billing in 2008.

Let’s hope that this remains true during the 2012 reassessment.

Oaken Bucket Supreme Court Ruling

January 6th, 2011

For those of you that either lease space to not for profit entities, or work with people who lease space to not for profit groups, you will want to make sure and read the memo issued by the DGLF concerning the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Oaken Bucket Case.

It can be accessed by going to http://www.in.gov/dlgf/files/110104-_Wood_Memo-_Supreme_Court_Exemption_Ruling.pdf

Homeowner Deductions

December 30th, 2010

A reminder that all Homeowner Deductions must be signed and postmarked by midnight tomorrow (December 31st).  A few more things to know about the deductions:

1.  If you have refinanced, or have had a deed change you will need to re-file your deductions.

2.  A taxpayer cannot receive the same deduction on multiple properties.

3.  The deductions need to be filed with the County Auditor’s office.  Some Counties offer online filing, and some do not.

A few of the deductions available to homeowners are:

  • Homestead Deduction
  • Mortgage Deduction
  • Over 65 Deduction
  • Blind or Disabled Person Deduction
  • Totally and Partially Disabled Veteran Deduction
  • Solar Energy Deduction
  • Wind Power Device
  • Hydroelectric Power Device
  • Geothermal Device

Of all of the deductions listed above, the Homestead Deduction can have the largest impact on your real estate tax bill. This deduction assists the Assessor’s office in determining which of the tax rates you fall under. For example with the Homestead Deduction you will likely fall into the 1% tax cap, where if you do not have the deduction you may be classified under the 2% tax cap.

Start 2011 off right and make sure you get those deductions filed!

Important Marion County Filing Deadline

November 27th, 2010

On October 13th, Form 11 Notices of Assessments were sent out to over 180,000 Marion County property owners notifying them of a change in their assessments relative to the pervious tax year. If you were the recpient of one of those notices, the FILING DEADLINE WAS INACCURATELY STATED. The notice states that the deadline to appeal the 2010 pay 2011 assessment would be 45 days from the date the County Treasurer sends out the tax bill next year. The correct deadline to appeal the 2010 pay 2011 values is November 30th 2010, IF the taxpayer has received the Form 11 Notice of Assessment.

Bottom line if your 2010 assessed value changed either up or down, you need to file an appeal by November 30th. If the value did not change you can file your appeal 45 days AFTER the County Treasurer sends out the tax bill next Spring.

Confused? Call us we’ll be happy to help.

Upcoming Elections

September 5th, 2010

The November elections are quickly approaching. These elections will affect property taxes in two different ways.
The first way would be that all 92 County Assessor’s are up for re-election. While many have chosen to retire, others are in a heated battle to retain their positions. We also will see some new faces on the ballot this year.
The second way would be the proposed referendum concerning whether or not the tax caps should be added to the Indiana Constitution.
In both cases I hope that you go to the polls informed and ready to make a decision about both. Your decision could affect your bottom line for years to come.

Vacant Contiguous Land Parcels

May 22nd, 2010

This year House Enrolled Act 1324-2010 added a new section to IC 6-1.1-24-6.8 which permits a county to sell certain vacant parcels to contiguous parcel owners as part of the tax sale process. In order to be eligible there are a few criteria that must be met.

The vacant parcel must have:

1.  A County lien that resulted from a prior tax sale

2.  Be unimproved on the date the parcel is offered for sale.

3.  Be legally eligible for construction of a residence.

4.  On the date the vacant parcel is offered for sale, be contiguous to at least one parcel that has an occupied residential structure, or a structure used in conjunction with an occupied residential structure, and that is eligible for the homestead standard deduction.

In order to purchase a vacant parcel the owner of a contiguous parcel must file a written application with the County.

Benefits of purchasing the contiguous parcel:

1.  At the time of the purchase all delinquent taxes, special assessments, penalties, and interest will be removed from the parcel.

2.  A tax exemption will be granted for that parcel for 5 years, or until the first transfer of title to the parcel occurs after the purchase.

Advantage to the County? They no longer have abandoned vacant parcels to maintain.

Cost of a contiguous parcel – $1.00.

Tax Bills Are Due Today!

May 10th, 2010

The Department of Local Government and Finance (DGLF) have been working diligently with the Assessor’s offices for the past year to ensure that most Counties are back to “on time billing.” 

This means that most taxpayers can count once again on their real estate tax bills being due on May 10th and November 10th.

For some of you that still means that you had three tax bills due this year, however the DGLF is keeping a watchful eye over the Counties to insure that they continue to submit the necessary data on time to maintain the two tax bill per year system.

For now it seems to be working.  Stay tuned to see if they can maintain the status quo during, and after the mandated 2012 reassessment.