Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are churches and not-for-profit organizations required to file a return for personal property?
A. Yes. The same deadline as above applies.
Q. Who owns the property at a specific address?
A. To determine current ownership of property please try GIS Online. The information available here is the most current.
Q. Where and when do I file a tax return on my business personal property?
A. Filing of forms 103 and 104 are required by May 15th of each year and are filed with the Township Trustee in the township in which the property is located.
Q. Is there any way I can reduce my taxes?
A. Yes. There are a number of credits and exemptions available to qualifying taxpayers. Your County Auditor can provide you with information and assist you in determining whether or not you qualify.
Q. What are Sales Disclosures and how are they used?
A. A sales disclosure is a form that is completed for all property transfers and must be filed when the transfer is recorded. Sales Disclosures must be filed with the County Auditor even if no money changed hands. The intent of the sales disclosure is to provide a base of information that will be utilized by the State, County and Township Trustee to identify how much each property was transferred for. Sales disclosures were classified as “public information” beginning January 2000.
Q. When and where do I pay my property taxes?
A. Tax bills are sent to you or your designee (such as your mortgage company) by the Treasurer’s Office and can be paid directly to that office. Payments can also be made at most local county banks. Tax payments are due on May 10th and November 10th of each year. Dates may change during a reassessment period.
Q. Who is ultimately responsible for the value placed on my Real Property?
A. The State Legislature enacts property tax laws while the DLGF (Department of Local Government Finance) interprets the law, writes the rules and procedures, and sets the tax rates.
Q. What if I’m making changes to my property?
A. If a building permit was issued, we will be notified by the planning agency. If improvements, modifications or demolition occur and a permit was not required please contact the County Assessor.
Q. Where do I get a copy of a plat map?
A. The “official” copy of the plat is filed with the County Recorder’s Office.
Q. When do I need a Power of Attorney?
A. When an appeal is being filed by anyone other than the owner.
Q. What if I disagree with the Assessed Value?
A. A taxpayer has a right to appeal their property tax assessment for any reason. The burden of proof, however, will be on the taxpayer to prove why they should have their assessment changed. Just saying: ” My taxes are too high” is not sufficient. After carefully reviewing your assessment notice, contact your County Assessor’s Office prior to filing an appeal.
Note also that three things may happen on appeal:
1) the assessed value may be raised;
2) it may be lowered; or
3) it may remain the same
Q. What are my property taxes based on?
A. Currently, Indiana property tax is based on the property’s estimated True Tax Value as of March 1st of the Current year. Due to legislation, sales data is reviewed each year to arrive at land base rate values.
Q. Why do I have to pay property taxes?
A. We’ve all become accustomed to the level of services provided by our local community. Schools, police and fire protection, libraries and paved roads are only a few of the amenities property taxes make possible. Without property taxes, we couldn’t support any of the above.
Q. Where and when do I file my mortgage and homestead exemption?
A. Mortgages and homestead exemptions are filed with the County Auditor and will be applied to the following year’s taxes. The Mortgage Deduction Application must be completed and dated no later than December 31st. The homeowner must also complete and date a Homestead Application by December 31st and file the application on or before January 5th. If you purchase a new property, both need to be filed. Should you refinance the mortgage, a new mortgage exemption must be filed. The homestead exemption only needs to be filed once even though you may refinance the mortgage.
Q. How will I know if my Assessment is correct?
A. Review the information provided on the Notice of Assessment (Form 11 R\A or C\I). The form not only shows the assessed value, but also the information used to arrive at the assessed value. You are encouraged to carefully check the following for accuracy:
- Year of construction.
- Number of stories.
- Exterior construction (brick, frame, block etc.)
- Square footage (calculated from outside measurements.)
- Number of extra plumbing fixtures (refers to the number of fixtures in excess of one full bath – 3 fixtures, kitchen sink and hot water heater per living unit.)
- Other assessable features (including but not limited to: extra living units, basement recreation rooms, hot tubs, central air conditioning, fireplaces, finished attics and basements, open and enclosed porches, etc.)
Q. How is the amount of tax I owe derived?
A. Your assessed value is multiplied by the tax rate. The tax rate is the total rate of the combined taxing units (County, Township, City or Town, Library, etc.) within each taxing district. The tax rate is expressed in dollars per hundred dollar of assessed value. This amount is reduced by a state credit, Property Tax Replacement and is automatically deducted from your tax bill. You can view the tax calculator on the DLGF website.
Q. What constitutes True Tax Value?
A. True Tax Value is the sum of the land value and the depreciated value of improvements. Land is valued at its estimated market value based upon the sales of comparable properties in the immediate area. Improvements are anything that has been constructed on the land; including houses, barns, garages, swimming pools, decks, patios, utility sheds, tennis courts, gazebos, carports, etc.