Chesterton Tribune



Higher assessed values, lower tax rates in Duneland and county for 2015

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Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik announced last week that tax rates overall dropped in most county taxing units.

The six areas in the county where tax rates rose are those connected to the Michigan City Area School Corporation and the Boone Twp. School District. Portage Twp. also saw its rate increase, but only slightly.

The portion of Pine Twp. in the Michigan City School District had the lowest tax rate in Porter County for 2014 at 1.0146, but rose to 1.6208 this year. The Town of Pines and Beverly Shores also saw their rates increase by .6, or 60 cents per $100 of assessed valuation, for this year.

Beverly Shores’ rate climbed more than any other taxing unit in the county, from 1.3588 in 2014 to 2.0377 in 2015, a difference of .6789.

According to the DLGF’s budget order, the Michigan City Area School Corporation’s rate went from .3797 in 2014 to 1.0064 in 2015. There were moderate increases in the school district’s transportation and bus replacement budgets but its largest increase was the rate for its debt service, which was .1067 in 2014 and .5789 in 2015.

The section of Pine Twp. in the Duneland School Corporation saw its rate drop from 1.7166 in 2014 to 1.6574.

Duneland Schools’ total assessed valuation for 2015 was $2.476 billion, up from 2014’s figure of $2.391 billion. That caused the school tax rate to drop from 1.08 last year to 1.04 this year. The rate includes the full 22 cents from the voter approved referendum for the Duneland Schools.

The biggest drop in Duneland this year was that of Portage City-Westchester Twp., which went from 3.0134 in 2014 to 2.8853, a difference of .1281. As for the rest of the district, the units saw small decreases ranging from .02 to .07.

Jackson Twp. continues to have the lowest rate at 1.6137, while Portage City-Westchester remained the highest at 2.8853.

Also, the Westchester Public Library system’s certified levy was figured at $2.76 million with a tax rate of .18, an increase over 2014’s rate of .1763.

The Town of Hebron claimed the highest rate in Porter County for another consecutive year at 3.3029 while the lowest this year was the West Porter Fire District in Porter Township with 1.5562.

Porter County’s certified AV is $8.659 billion for 2015, a moderate growth from last year’s $8.368 billion. The total tax rate for Porter County Government this year is .4496, which is a small decrease this year even though there were hikes in the Health Department Fund and the Cumulative Capital Development Fund. The drop in the general fund and the elimination of the debt rate helped offset the rising rates in the other two funds, Urbanik said.

As Urbanik said in a press release Friday, the budget orders reflect Boone Twp. Schools referendum which was approved by voters last year.

The county’s homestead credit rate dropped from 9.8 percent in 2014 to 9.0 this year due to a drop in county income tax revenues, Urbanik said.

Taxpayers may access the 2015 budget orders on the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance’s website at Click on “County Specific Information” and then “Porter County.”

Taxpayers can also find on the webpage a feature to help calculate their tax bills.

Tax bills on time

The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance issued Porter County its budget orders on Wednesday, Feb. 11.

Porter was 57th out of 92 counties to receive their budget orders and is in line to have its tax bills mailed and received on time, which is how it’s been since 2010.

The County Auditor’s office will calculate the tax bills now that the budgets have been certified.

Bills are to be mailed by the Treasurer’s office by April 17.

The following is the list of 2015 total tax rates given by the state in descending order with their 2014 rates in parentheses for comparison:

Duneland Decreases

* Portage City-Westchester: 2.8853 (3.0134).

* Porter Town-Westchester: 2.8252 (2.8649).

* Chesterton-Westchester: 2.6352 (2.6954).

* Chesterton-Liberty: 2.5475. (2.6242).

* Chesterton-Jackson: 2.5325 (2.6072).

* Burns Harbor: 2.0555 (2.0795).

* Dune Acres: 2.0262 (2.0591).

* Westchester Township: 1.7288 (1.7705).

* Liberty Township: 1.6568 (1.7320).

* Pine Township-Duneland School Corporation: 1.6574 (1.7166).

* Jackson Township: 1.6137 (1.6717).

Increases Elsewhere

* Hebron: 3.3029 (3.1806).

* Boone Township: 2.6594 (2.5255).

* Pines Town: 2.0741 (1.4515).

* Beverly Shores: 2.0377 (1.3588).

* Portage Township: 1.9358 (1.9335).

* Pine Township-Michigan City School Corporation: 1.6208 (1.0146).

Decreases Elsewhere

* Portage City-Portage Township: 2.8442 (2.9394).

* Valparaiso-Washington: 2.8403 (2.8543).

* Valparaiso-Center Township: 2.6433 (2.7118).

* Ogden Dunes: 2.2397 (2.2465).

* Kouts (Pleasant Twp.): 2.0915 (2.2270).

* Union Township: 1.7160 (1.7318).

* Pleasant Township: 1.6634 (1.6936).

* Center Township: 1.6600 (1.7403).

* Porter Township: 1.6373 (1.7179).

* Washington Township: 1.6192 (1.6787).

* Morgan Township: 1.5922 (1.6221).

* Porter Township-West Porter Fire: 1.5562 (1.7302).





Posted 2/18/2015




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