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Indiana Property Tax Appeal Information

Here is a collection of articles and resources for someone who might feel that their Marion County Indiana home has been improperly assessed.  The following information will show you how and where to file your appeal if you feel your tax liability is wrong.

 

Governor orders Reassessment for Marion County

Property tax appeal process in Marion County Indiana

Making a compelling and logical appeal

Wish TV 8  July 5, 2007  "Some Hoosiers may be overpaying property taxes"

This news story features one of our satisfied customers who recently achieved success in his appeal that was substantiated with one of our appraisals

Making Home Improvements Pay...2006 Cost vs. Value Report

 

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Kevin Rader
WTHR; July, 2007

Governor orders Reassessment for Marion County

Indianapolis - Gov. Mitch Daniels announced a big decision Wednesday morning that could help Marion County homeowners.

The governor ordered a reassessment in Marion County for both residential and commercial property. He made his decision after analyzing property by property data in the county. He says that data shows commercial property was not even looked at and therefore an unfair burden was shifted from business on to residential property tax payers.

"Assessors themselves have been ordered to reassess residential. There seem to be major anomalies in residential as well but the major drive in all of this is the very clear failure to reassess property. In Center Township, for instance, 88 percent of the business appraisals did not change up or down by one percent. You may expect other counties will be reassessed in this same fashion. I think this is a certainty," Daniels said.

If you are a Marion County taxpayer, the governor is requesting you pay at your 2006 level for the time being.

Also, the Department of Local Government Finance in a memo to the governor pointed out that nearly three-fourths or 16,000 of 22,100 commercial and industrial parcels showed no change over the last six years. That clearly prompted the governor to act.

The state will now take over the assessment for commercial and industrial. Local assessors will do the residential work.

Marion County homeowners still need to pay the bill by the deadline of July 27, but at 2006 levels.

New bills

Marion County taxpayers will receive bills with a new 2007 amount after the reassessment is completed and the tax rates certified. That will take from six to eight months.

In a press release issued Wednesday, the governor said, "People need relief now, and we can't have people losing their homes because of unfair taxes."

Long-term solutions

The governor also announced a plan to look for long-term solutions for reform and restructuring of local civil and school government. Former Gov. Joe Kernan and Indiana Supreme Court Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard were named by the governor to co-chair a commission to examine and make recommendations on topics including what government offices could be eliminated for cost savings, and how local governments might restructure or consolidate to reduce expenses.

Special session

The issue of a special legislative session has also been discussed, with House Speaker Pat Bauer (D) saying he would consider it if the goals were clear going in. The speaker would like to see $300 million permanently added to property tax relief on top of the $550 million already allocated by the legislature.

While some legislators see the property tax increase as Marion County's problem only, Yorktown issued a resolution Tuesday calling for a special session over the state's property tax system. Other communities, like Howard and Hancock Counties, have also seen significant increases.

The governor said other counties could also be ordered to conduct reassessments, but thus far many have not complied with state law to provide the detailed information to enable analysis of assessments. 

What if I already paid?

If you have already paid this year's amount, any overage will be applied to your next property bill.

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Property tax appeal process in Marion County Indiana

 

WHY TO APPEAL:

If you feel that there is a reporting error in your property tax card, or feel that you could not stick a sign in your front yard and sell your property for the assessed value within a reasonable exposure and marketing time, you may document and substantiate your case by ordering an appraisal from a licensed Indiana appraiser.

 

HOW TO APPEAL?


If you don't agree with your property tax assessment, you have the right to appeal.  The burden of proof, however, rests with you to show why your assessment should be changed.  A recent appraisal showing an error in the Assessor's reporting of your home or appraisal showing a lesser market value may help you. 

 

Three things may happen on appeal:

Your assessment may be raised.  It may be lowered.  It may remain the same.

 

How to read your property tax statement...click for an explanation  Source: Indy Star.com



The process:

Should a property owner disagree with their assessment, they are entitled to an appeal.  All appeals should begin with the township assessor of the township in which the property is located.  A review of the property record card is important to ensure that all of the features of the property have been reported correctly.  These include the square footage, number of plumbing fixtures, finished or unfinished attics and basements, etc.  An official appraisal prepared by an Indiana licensed appraiser will itemize the physical attributes of your home, serve as substantiated documentation in your appeal, and provide you with a a professional's opinion of estimated market value.  Any discrepancy of these objective portions of the assessment may be handled at that time.  If, however, there are subjective aspects (difference of opinion in market value) of assessment that need to be appealed, a Form 130 should be filed with the County Assessor for further review.

  • CORRECTION OF ERRORS (Form 133) - If an objective discrepancy exists that requires correction (miscalculation of square footage for instance), this form is filed with the County Auditor. If the error encompasses multiple years, the form may be used to correct up to (3) years. Once the correction is made you may file a Form 17T to apply for a refund of property tax, if one is due.
  • APPEAL OF PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT (FORMERLY FORM 130)     (Form 130) - It is no longer required to file a Form 130 petition to begin the appeal process.  (However, it is still recommended that a Form 130 be filed for tracking purposes.)  Within 45 days of the notice from the Township Assessor, a letter (or Form 130) must be filed with the Township Assessor requesting an appeal.  A copy of the letter (or Form 130) should also be filed with the County Assessor.
  • PETITION TO THE INDIANA BOARD OF TAX REVIEW (Form 131) - A determination will be sent to the taxpayer and the Township Assessor by the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals. Either party may request a review by the Indiana Board of Tax Review by filing a Form 131 with the County Assessor within 30 days of receipt of the determination.
  • PETITION TO THE STATE TAX COURT - Once the Indiana Board of Tax Review gives notice of its determination, the petitioner may seek a review by the Tax Court by petitioning the court with 45 days of the determination. A copy of the appeal should be filed with the Attorney General and the County Assessor in the county in which the property is located.

POWER OF ATTORNEY FORM


Source:
Marion County assessor's office

 

Homeowner Tips

Start by performing your own due diligence by double checking these easy to verify items:

1)     Has the assessor properly accounted for your homes physical attributes?  Start by simply measuring your home, calculating its square footage, and comparing it against the Assessor's record.  Are areas (1st floor, 2nd floor, attic, and basement) reported as finished that are not?

2)     Does your property tax card indicate that all of the exemptions and credits you are qualified to receive have actually been subtracted from the Gross Assessed Value?

 

Obtaining your property card:   http://www.civicnet.net/property/
Get a full report on your 2007 tax information plus prior-year information for $3.00.  (Click on Property Information Services.)
 

2007 Marion County property assessments

How does the assessed value of your house compare to your neighbors?  Is the tax rate applied equally?  Find out by searching assessments for more than 315,000 properties in Marion County.  This is a handy resource to check and see whether or not homes in your neighborhood have been taxed similarly.

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/99999999/LOCAL0801/70628049

 

Check for available deduction and their requirements:

Homeowner Deduction Guide     http://www.indygov.org/eGov/County/Auditor/Services/deduction_guide.htm

This online guide explains the various deductions available to residential property owners.  If you think you qualify, you can contact the Marion County Auditor's office for information.

 

Deductions That Could Reduce Your Property Taxes:

In order for these deductions to be applied to your property, you must be the owner as of March 1st, and the application must be filed on or before June 10th in order to be credited to the following year's taxes.  For mobile homes, you must file by March 31st.

HOMESTEAD DEDUCTION/CREDIT

If you own a home or are buying on a recorded contract, and use it as your primary place of residence, your home and up to one acre of land could qualify for a homeowner's deduction.  The deduction is either one half of your assessed valuation or $35,000, whichever is less.  The maximum homestead credit amount equals 25% of your gross tax (up to 17% state and 8% county depending on your taxing district).

MORTGAGE DEDUCTION

If you are buying property on a recorded mortgage or a recorded contract, and you are a resident of the State of Indiana, you could qualify for a mortgage deduction. The value of the deduction may not exceed the amount of the indebtedness.

The deduction is either one half of your assessed valuation or $3,000, whichever is less. A person owning more than one property may not receive mortgage deductions totaling more than $3,000.

DEDUCTION FOR PERSONS OVER AGE 65 OR SURVIVING SPOUSES

If you own property or are buying on a recorded contract, and you were over the age of 65 December 31 of the prior year, you could qualify for this deduction if you meet the following requirements:

  • Have a combined adjusted gross income of less than $25,000.
  • Have an assessed valuation of no more than $144,000.
  • You owned the property one year before March 1 of the current year.

For the surviving spouse deduction you must be over the age of 60, and the deceased spouse must have been at least age 65 at time of death. The deduction is either one half of your assessed valuation or $12,480, whichever is less.

DEDUCTION FOR BLIND OR DISABLED PERSONS

If you own property or are buying on a recorded contract, use it as your primary place of residence, and are blind or disabled, you could qualify for this deduction if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your individual gross taxable income must be less than $17,000.
  • A statement from your physician or a Social Security Disability Statement must evidence disability.

The deduction is either the amount of your assessment or $12,480, whichever is less.

TOTALLY DISABLED VETERAN

If you are a veteran and totally disabled or are at least age 62 with a disability of at least 10%, you could qualify for this deduction if you meet the following requirements:

  • Your assessed value (Real & Personal does not exceed $113,000.
  • Disability is evidenced by VA form 20-5455, Pension Certificate, Award of Compensation, or Letter of Disability.
  • You served in the Military for 90 days and received an honorable discharge.

The deduction is either the amount of your assessment or $12,480, whichever is less.  Any amount remaining could be applied to personal property, mobile home and excise tax.

PARTIALLY DISABLED VETERAN

If you are a veteran and have a service-connected wartime disability of 10% or more, you could qualify for this deduction if you meet the following requirements:

  • Disability is evidenced by VA form 20-5455, Pension Certificate, Award of Compensation, or Letter of Disability.
  • You received an honorable discharge.

The deduction is either the amount of your assessment or $24,960, whichever is less. Any amount remaining could be applied to personal property, mobile home and excise tax.

OTHER

For information on the following deductions, please contact the Marion County Auditor’s office at (317) 327-4646 for further assistance:

  • World War I Veteran or Spouse
  • Solar Energy
  • Wind Power Device
  • Hydroelectric Power Device
  • Geothermal Device

 

 

Other Related Information and Resources:



To begin a property tax appeal, you should first call your township assessor:

Marion County Assessors:

Center Township   327-4698
Decatur Township   856-2230
Franklin Township   327-4191
Lawrence Township   547-8625
Perry Township   788-4833
Pike Township   327-7453
Warren Township   898-5000
Washington Township   327-4819
Wayne Township   273-4130


If you feel that there is a reporting error in your property tax card, or feel that you could not stick a sign in your front yard and sell your property for the assessed value within a reasonable exposure and marketing time, you may document your case by ordering an appraisal from a licensed Indiana appraiser.

Order Now

 

Other Related Information and Resources:


To begin a property tax appeal, you should first call your township assessor:

 

Marion County Assessors:


Center Township
   327-4698
Decatur Township   856-2230
Franklin Township   327-4191
Lawrence Township   547-8625
Perry Township   788-4833
Pike Township   327-7453
Warren Township   898-5000
Washington Township   327-4819
Wayne Township   273-4130


 

HAMILTON COUNTY  (317) 776-9620

General information and due dates: http://www.co.hamilton.in.us/departments.asp?id=2205

Frequently asked questions:
http://www.co.hamilton.in.us/services.asp?id=4930&entity=2205

Parcel information and tax statements:
http://www.co.hamilton.in.us/apps/reports/defaulttax2.asp

 

BOONE COUNTY  (765) 482-2880

Frequently asked questions:
http://boonecounty.in.gov/Default.aspx?tabid=172

 

HANCOCK COUNTY  (317) 477-1152

General information and due dates:
http://www.hancockcoingov.org/treasurer/tax_information.asp

 

HENDRICKS COUNTY -- (317) 745-9207

General information & frequently asked questions:
http://www.co.hendricks.in.us/GovernmentCenter/AssessorsOffice/tabid/67/Default.aspx

 

JOHNSON COUNTY

The online property tax payment website has been disabled until further notice. A new site will be available for spring taxes at the appropriate time. For property tax information call the Treasurer's Office at 317-346-4330.

 

MORGAN COUNTY  (765) 342-1048

 

SHELBY COUNTY  (317) 392-6375

 

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Making a compelling and logical appeal

In order to make a compelling and logical appeal, you need to obtain any and all the records that pertain to the valuation of your property.  Once you have the records, examine them for the information's accuracy and try to spot any obvious errors (the most obvious and frequently occurring errors may include additional square footage, the improper calculation of your home's square footage, or something like a shed included in your home's square footage.  A less obvious error might be something like an improperly applied or incorrect tax rate.  In many jurisdictions you may also be able to obtain public tax cards for comparable properties in your neighborhood.  You can compare these cards with your own and look for inconsistencies in the application of the tax rate or calculation of square footage.  Additionally, it is always possible that the assessor may have missed exemptions for which you are entitled.  If your home is in need of major repairs, and you plan to appeal based on conditions of which the assessor was not aware of at the time, a licensed contractor's estimate of items needed to be repaired in addition to a Realtor's comparative market analysis of your home, may help you with substantiating the negative impact on your homes true "market value" in your petition.  If you discover a miscalculation in your tax records lot description, an survey performed by a licensed surveyor will be of greatest assistance for appealing on that basis.


By far, the most compelling evidence of your homes "market value" are comparables of recently closed sales within the same neighborhood.  This information is often easy to obtain from public sources.  Selection of the comparables is critical and analyzing them should be left to a licensed appraiser.  Publicly reported sale prices are often not what they appear to be at first glance.  Factors that often make for an invalid comparable include improperly reported square footage of the comparable, sales from outside of your true market segment, sales concessions and non-arm's length transactions.  A distressed or forced "short sale" is not going to help you make a compelling argument that your taxes should be lowered, unless your neighborhood has so many distressed homes that it has negatively impacted the entire are.  The comparables you choose should appeal to any prospective buyer who would want your property.

 

Click here for a description of what an official appraisal includes.

  

There are a wide variety of reasons for which you can appeal your assessment. Generally, the root problem in most cases is the manner in which the assessor has valued your property for tax purposes.

Success in your petition will most likely come from a reporting error:

(1) calculation errors anywhere in your tax record

(2) a discrepancy between the actual mechanical attributes of your home (SF) and your tax records description

(3) the age of your home

(4) an incorrect "owner of record" on your tax record

(5) a discrepancy of your property's lot size and your tax records description

(6) lack of an exemption for which you are entitled

(7) improper tax classification (commercial when it your property is residential)

 

Will you have to pay the tax due before your appeal?

More than likely, yes.  If you do not, interest charges and penalties may be applied to the unpaid balance.

 

If after performing your own due diligence, you still feel that that the assessor is wrong about your homes market value, and would like to get an independent appraiser's opinion, please feel free to contact us.

 

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Wish TV 8  July 5, 2007  "Some Hoosiers may be overpaying property taxes"

Click here for the full story and to watch the video clip

By Daniel Miller
News 8 @ 11:00

INDIANAPOLIS - In about three weeks, property taxes will be due for Marion County homeowners who haven't filed for an extension.

Luciano Pisciotta says his east side home is an ongoing project.

"It had been on the market for several months," Pisciotta told 24-Hour News 8.

He bought it for $60,000 in 2004. Today it's worth nearly $120,000.

"We fixed it up. We had to do a fair amount of work before we could even move into the house, including painting and tearing things out," he explained.

After three years, Pisciotta says something did not look right after getting his current property tax bill.

"Someone is not taking a close enough look at the paperwork they're sending out. Anyone who's in business, and the government is in business, you really need to crunch numbers before you send people a bill for these things," said Pisciotta.

Pisciotta's home measures about 1500 square feet. His tax bill is for a home nearly 2100 square feet. So he called for help.

"Our phones started ringing, I think, just about as soon as the bills came out," said Brett Martin with Indianapolis Appraisal Associates.

Martin is a licensed Indianapolis appraiser. He measured Pisciotta's home and found the discrepancy.

"That can change a lot, in fact that can change a lot in a market," Martin explained.

He says people can be overpaying and not know it.

"At the end of the day, if you can't stick a sign in your front yard and sell your home for the assessed value in a reasonable amount of time, I would consider getting a professional appraiser," Martin told us.

You have options if you're concerned about your property tax bill:

  • You can contact your township assessor for a review of your bill.
  • You can get an independent appraisal of your property which costs about $300.
  • You can file an appeal.
  • You can call your state representative about the tax rate. This won't solve your current issue, but it may prompt lawmakers to look at the issue for the future.

 

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Making Home Improvements Pay...2006 Cost vs. Value Report

 

View the PDF version of the full report published in REALTOR® Magazine

This article was published on: 12/01/2006

2006 Cost vs. Value
Making Home Improvements Pay

What’s the return for remodeling?
Remodeling magazine’s annual report compares construction costs with resale values for 25 common remodeling projects in 60 U.S. markets.

Prices for most remodeling projects continue to climb, while the recoup value of improvements at resale is declining to levels last seen in 2002. These are the findings of
Remodeling magazine’s 19th annual
Cost vs. Value Report,  the eighth prepared in cooperation with REALTOR® Magazine. None of this should come as much of a surprise to you: This year’s recoup values confirm the housing slowdown many parts of the country are experiencing.

With both home-sale and remodeling activity at record levels in the last five to six years, some cooling is inevitable. Indications are that the current downturn represents a return to normal levels.

A number of improvements designed to make the report more reliable and useful has also affected both cost and value data. For starters,
Remodeling took a fresh look at the specs for the 25 projects it studies each year. (REALTOR® Magazine, in the past, has limited the number of projects it included in its coverage.) The cost-to-construct figures (which include labor, material, subcontractors, and gross profit) are higher than in previous years, but also more accurate. (Read full project descriptions at www.remodelingmagazine.com.) The estimates of resale value are also more accurate than ever before (see Survey confidence is high, below), thanks to the more than 2,000 members of the NATIONAL ASSOCATION OF REALTORS® who completed Remodeling’s e-mail survey this past summer.

In addition, the report introduces nine regional averages, following the divisions established by the U.S. Census Bureau. This breakdown provides higher confidence levels than could be achieved with the four larger U.S. regions measured in previous years.

What the numbers mean

When comparing cost estimates for actual projects, remember that averaging tends to have a leveling effect on (Job Cost) data. And, seemingly small differences in size, scope, or quality of finishes can dramatically affect the final project cost. Remember, too, that, even in neighborhoods in the same city, local conditions can affect both the cost and value of a remodeling project, making our numbers appear too high or too low.

In an actual real estate transaction, the cost recouped for a given remodeling project depends on a variety of factors. These include the condition of the rest of the house, the value of similar homes nearby, and the rate at which property values are changing in the surrounding area. A home’s urban, suburban, or rural setting also affects its value, as does the availability and cost of new and existing homes in the immediate vicinity.

{Indianapolis Appraisal Associates brings value to clients and customers by marrying information from the report with our home pricing expertise and our knowledge of qualified remodelers in our area.}


View the PDF version of the full report published in REALTOR® Magazine

About the report

Research team
Specpan, an Indianapolis-based company, programmed and hosted the Web-based survey, collected and compiled the data, and provided pre- and post-survey consulting. More than 100,000 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® members — salespeople, brokers, and appraisers received e-mail links to the survey. Of those, 2,188 provided value estimates. Hometech Information Systems, the Bethesda, Md.–based estimating software developer, provided cost-to-construct estimates for each of the 60 cities surveyed. Survey confidence is high. The statistical accuracy or confidence level of the national averages is 95 percent (+/– 2 percent), which means that 95 percent of the time, national results for this survey will fall within 2 percent to either side of the results published here.

No cause for alarm

Should you be concerned about lower recoup values in this year’s Cost vs. Value Report?
The unusually strong housing market over the past few years has boosted both remodeling and new-construction activity. For many home owners, the appreciation in house prices significantly added to their net worth. Similarly, home improvement projects often paid for themselves through a comparable increase in the home’s value. But every good thing must come to an end. Eventually, things return to normal. Luckily, today’s normal is great news for home owners and real estate practitioners: When you consider its value at resale, a home improvement project costs only 20 cents to 25 cents on the dollar. The other 75 cents to 80 cents spent on a project goes directly back into the home through increased value, not to mention increased owner enjoyment.
 By Kermit Baker, director of the Remodeling Futures Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University.

Replacement projects lead returns

Of the top 10 projects nationally measured by cost recouped at resale, seven, including the top three, are replacement projects. An upscale fiber cement siding replacement returned 88 percent of the investment. Midrange vinyl siding replacement was second at 87.2 percent, and midrange wood window replacement edged out minor kitchen remodeling for third at 85.2 percent. Only roofing replacement finished outside the top 10 projects, at 73.9 percent for a midrange job, and 72.9 percent for an upscale one.

Energy efficiency in the face of high fuel prices could be a logical reason why replacement projects are high-value performers. But Charlie Gindele, president of Dial One Window Replacement Specialists, in Santa Ana, Calif., calls that a rationalization. The thing that motivates people, by and large, is the aesthetics, he says.

Amy Mills Siler, a salesperson at Joan Ryder and Associates Real Estate Inc., in Bel Air, Md., agrees that most home buyers are looking for a house with curb appeal. If they drive up to a house with dingy aluminum siding and old windows, the buyers automatically get a bad taste in their mouth, she says. The old saying ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ falls on deaf ears with most clients.

Gindele, who works in Orange County, Calif., where median housing prices in the second quarter of 2006 topped $726,000, says the return on investment is just an added bonus to home owners, who undertake remodeling projects for a variety of benefits. Among other things, they do it because they want the ease of operation, the beauty, the sound-deadening component, he says. But it’s nice to recover your expense.

 

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