inquiries made by the Chesterton Tribune, Porter County Assessor Jon
Snyder went on record Thursday to say Pavilion Partners LLC principal Chuck
Williams delivered to him on Aug. 31, 2015 a written request to appeal
property tax assessments for parcels on the former Johnson Inn property at
The parcels, five
in all, are not owned by Williams however, or at least the Assessorís Office
has no record of a sale, Snyder said. Instead, the listed property owner is
Johnson Inn Inc. or Carl Dahlin Jr.
was following up a tip alleging that Williams himself had filed an appeal on
the Dahlin properties. Public documents were obtained in response to a
Tribune request for any document related to an appeal on the parcels.
One item received
was a copy of the single piece of paper Williams gave to Snyder indicating
ďPlease put these parcels up for appeal 2015/2016Ē followed by the parcel
attorney for the Assessorís Office, said that written requests become part
of the public record if accepted by the Assessor.
Buckley also said
that the state has recently made it easier for taxpayers to file appeals.
All thatís required is a written notice with the name of the taxpayer, the
address and the parcel number for the property, and the address and
telephone number of the taxpayer or representative.
Office Director of Commercial Operations Mary Dambek said itís possible for
anyone to make a request for any property, but all appeals must be filed by
the taxpayer themselves, a certified tax representative for the taxpayer, an
attorney or someone who has power of attorney. If not, the appeals will be
Appeal requests may
be accepted in person at the Assessorís Office, by mail or on the Assessorís
website, Dambek said, but Williamsí is the only one of the 1,500 appeals
field this year she knows of that was delivered to the Assessor outside of
Snyder said the
reason he accepted Williamsí request is because it was given to him within
the filing deadline. Aug. 31, incidentally, was the last day appeals could
Dambek pointed out
that although Williamsí request is dated as Aug. 31, there is no time stamp
Office on Thursday officially issued a Notice of Defect in Completion of
Assessment Appeal for all five parcels, stating the defects to be that there
is no physical address of the property given, there is no mailing address,
there is no telephone number and there is no signature or name of the person
filing the appeal.
The defect notice
will however be mailed to the taxpayer, in this case Dahlin, instead of
Williams, even though Dahlin did not submit the request.
If Dahlin wishes
for the appeal request to be accepted, he will need to send a corrected
statement within 30 days to the Assessor.
Dambek, along with
the Assessorís Chief Deputy Jean Swanson and Residential Real Estate
Supervisor Peggy Hendron, said they have not had any communication with
Dahlin in regards to the appeal.
Dahlin in 2013 did
file tax assessment appeals on the Johnson Inn property that were denied by
the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals ďbased on lack of prima facie
Dambek said Dahlin
did not show up at his appeal hearing to present his case. The staff had
made numerous attempts to contact him by phone with the numbers he gave on
his appeal request but never were able to reach him.
Dambek, Swanson and
Hendron said they donít know what involvement Williams has with the
property, only that he delivered the request for appeals to Snyder.
So what could
Williamsí interest be in a beachfront property?
As the Tribune
previously reported, Williamsí Pavilion Partners banquet center at the
Indiana Dunes State Park beach faces a delay due to Department of Natural
Resources use of federal funds under the Land and Water Conservation Act.
The DNR spokesperson said the state has been aware of the LWFC rules and is
waiting for Pavilion Partners to submit final plans. The LWCF will require
DNR to acquire property of value no less than that of the land being
converted to private use.