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Property Tax Deadlines You Should Know

By: Phil Thrasher (thrasher@indiana-attorneys.com)

One of the most common problems with property tax payers is the simplest to solve: missing deadlines.  Below are some of the more important deadlines that are approaching.  They cannot be extended and missing a deadline cannot be appealed, so it is absolutely imperative that clients either file or appeal on their own in a timely manner or delegate that responsibility to our Firm.

1.       Marion County 2010 Assessments:  November 30, 2010 if the taxpayer has received a Form 11 Notice of Assessment; otherwise, within 45 days following the receipt of the first 2011 tax bill.  We are assuming that November 30 is the deadline for all of our existing appeals.

2.       Other Counties:  Typically, all counties surrounding Marion have already completed their appeals period, but if you are uncertain please call us or your local Assessor to be sure.

3.       2011 Assessments:  Appeal by May 10, 2011 unless an extraordinary circumstance forces the County Assessor to delay assessments.

4.       2011 Exemptions:  File Form 136 or it equivalent by May 15, 2011, whether or not you have appealed the 2011 assessment.  Commercial landlords with below-market leases to non-profit entities should consider filing an exemption to relieve the property tax from such tenants’ spaces.

5.       2012 Assessments:  This is a general reassessment of all real property in the State of Indiana.  Assessor representatives are inspecting all properties and adjusting all assessments, effective March 1, 2012.  To be ahead of the rush for what is expected to be another massive round of appeals, taxpayers should file on all properties as soon as possible, for instance, January 2, 2012.  It is not necessary to know your 2012 assessment to appeal it.

Because the State, and many Counties, are finally becoming current in their valuations, assessments, and tax billing, taxpayers are finding that in some years, for instance 2010 in Marion County, they had three tax bills to pay.  That is hopefully behind most of us and we can look forward to having only two tax bills each year.  Nevertheless, as the Counties find that the tax caps become more and more burdensome, they will need to drive tax rates up to the caps and then find other sources of revenue, such as increasing assessments, cancelling exemptions that had been granted for decades on properties that were only marginally qualified for exemption, asking for special bond issues through referenda, increasing local option income taxes, and so forth.  So, the adoption of caps on tax rates has only moved the battle ground from tax rates to other locations such as assessments and exemptions.

At present, there is no telling what the 2012 general reassessment holds for taxpayers.  Suffice to say that, at least in Marion County, there were many properties that had significant differences between market value-in-use and the assessment imposed by the Assessor prior to settling their assessment appeals.  Those who failed to appeal are thus going to be paying part of the tax that was formerly imposed on those who successfully appealed.  As mentioned above, our normal recommendation to commercial clients is to appeal every parcel every year.  That is the only way to be assured that your assessments are fair.  In Marion County, the appeal window is still open.

If you have any questions or need assistance with an appeal or exemption filing, please call or email Phil Thrasher at your convenience.

Practical Advice, Personal Attention

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