Along with hearing
taxpayer appeals of assessments, the County’s Property Tax Assessment Board
of Appeals (PTABOA) will devote time this year to checking the status of a
number of properties’ tax exemptions
County Assessor Jon
Snyder on Thursday said that in wake of the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s
decision to uphold the PTABOA’s decision to revoke United Steelworkers Local
6787 Hall tax exempt status, as well as its denial of the Portage Chamber of
Commerce’s exemption application, he requested that PTABOA inspect other
exemption cases to check if they are in compliance with the statutory code.
The aim, Snyder
said, is fairness for all property owners. The decisions relating to the
Steelworkers Hall and the Portage Chamber “have caused some potential
inequity amongst exempt classes in this county,” Snyder said.
“Make no mistake it
has always been the intention of this Assessor to be sure that all taxpayers
are treated equitably by following the standard of law,” he told the board
in a prepared statement.
office made an “audit” of several of the 7,000 or so property exemptions in
Porter County and Snyder presented a list of 22 parcels that he would like
the PTABOA to hold hearings on.
From the list, five
of those parcels are from Duneland: The Art Barn School of Art, in Jackson
Twp.; The Association of Artists and Craftsmen, in Chesterton; the United
Steelworkers Local 12775 Building Corporation, in Porter; United
Steelworkers Local 12775 (personal property), in Porter; and the North
Porter County Conservation Club, in Liberty Twp.
Snyder told the
Chesterton Tribune these are not properties that he suspects are in
violation of the law, necessarily. They are listed because the Assessor’s
office just doesn’t have any documentation that supports the exemption
status, he said, and he would like to give each property the chance to show
their merits to the PTABOA.
includes numerous union halls and conservation clubs, Pines Village
Retirement Community in Valparaiso and the Northwest Indiana Forum Inc.’s
personal property in Portage. Other properties may be recommended for the
board’s evaluation in the future.
“This list is not
an absolute. It will continue to be a moving target,” Snyder said.
Christopher Buckley said the Indiana General Assembly has passed legislation
that requires County Assessors to weigh certain classes of property by the
The state allows
tax exemptions on properties that are for a municipal, educational,
literary, scientific, religious or charitable purposes, Buckley said.
It is the burden of
the taxpayer to demonstrate that the property is being used for one of those
purposes at least 50 percent of the time in order to retain an exemption
according to the statute, he added.
Nicholas Sommer and members Candy Crone and Scott Williams voted 3-0 in
favor of scheduling hearings for the 22 parcels.
“We need to hear
from these folks,” Williams agreed.
Snyder said that
the work will be long and difficult but he hopes that each case will be
heard before the end of this year.