For Immediate Release
DLGF Nears End of County-by-County Review; Offers Web tools for Taxpayers
INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 13, 2007) The Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) today announced it is nearing the end of its county-by-county review. Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave said the DLGF has released nine counties, whose assessments have passed the initial review process, while they will hold public hearings in another four counties to determine if reassessments will be ordered there.
The DLGF released the following counties: Allen, DeKalb, Greene, Johnson, Kosciusko, Lake, Noble, Owen and St. Joseph.
"Assessments in these counties were done in accordance with state guidelines," Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave said.
Taxpayers in these counties may still appeal their assessments if they feel they have been inaccurately valued. They should contact their local assessor for more details on specific deadlines. Indiana law does not require taxpayers to submit appraisals to appeal their assessment.
The counties to receive public hearings are Crawford, Fulton, Jennings and Spencer.
"Each of these counties has a high percentage of unchanged commercial and industrial values, prompting the need for further review," Commissioner Musgrave said. "We will be listening to local feedback at the public hearings to make our final determination."
Dates for the public hearings in each county will be forthcoming and updated on the DLGF's Web site at http://www.in.gov/dlgf as they are scheduled.
The announcement today means only three counties are left in the review process: Brown, Putnam and Starke. These counties must still submit required data needed to begin the analysis. The total number of counties released from further review is 68, while the total number of counties proceeding with the reassessment process is 21, including four counties for which a reassessment order or directive has been issued (Delaware, Gibson, Marion and Posey.)
Web site Update
The DLGF also announced several updates to its Web site, making property tax information more readily available to Hoosier taxpayers. These updates include a searchable database providing sales disclosure and assessment information on properties statewide; a property tax burden spreadsheet, which gives a six-year overview of levies by county/ taxing unit; and access to audio and written summaries of the Local Government and School Property Tax Control Board meetings.
"This is not only very valuable information, it is the first time some of this has ever been available and the first time this has all been available in one place in Indiana," Commissioner Musgrave said.
This information can be used in the appeal process or to allow taxpayers to better understand how assessors determine a property owner's assessed value.
The DLGF also announced that taxpayers will soon have an additional Web-based tool to compare their assessments with their neighbors. This tool will be available sometime next week and will enable Hoosiers to search for other properties in the area defined as a neighborhood by their assessor.
The search tools and information are available from the DLGF's home page at http://www.in.gov/dlgf.
Data Compliance Update
To date, the DLGF has received 97.8 percent of all "Priority Data" 2006 Sales, 2007 Auditor and 2007 Assessor from counties. Of the data received, 61 percent is compliant, while the remainder is in review or noncompliant.
County Budgets Update
Commissioner Musgrave signed two county budgets for counties that are data compliant. These orders were held up until required data was submitted by counties. The data requested are required by law and were originally due between 6 months and 11 months ago. The data helps policymakers make informed decisions about long-term solutions to increasing property taxes.
Budgets signed are Miami County and Decatur County
Percent No Change Commercial and Industrial Public Hearing Counties.
Sample Page: Assessment Information available via DLGF's Web site.
Contact: Department of Local Government Finance at 317-232-3777
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