Chesterton Tribune

 

 

Homestead exemption compliance program nets revenue for Porter County

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Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik has announced that she has returned more than $246,500 to the county’s General Fund through the auditor’s homestead compliance program.

The money comes from back taxes paid by taxpayers who improperly claimed and received the homestead tax deduction.

State law allows County Auditors to investigate homestead compliance and to collect up to three years of back taxes and penalties.

In the past, county auditors were allowed to keep homestead revenues for their own office use. That changed in 2013, when Indiana lawmakers passed S.B. 517, which requires that auditors return to their county’s general fund any homestead revenues collected each year in excess of $100,000 net of contractual costs related to homestead investigations.

After calculating the revenue received and the contractual costs in 2015, Urbanik authorized deposits to the county’s general fund totaling $246,553.54. Urbanik said her office was able to return such a sizable amount to the general fund due in part to the efforts made in the past year to reduce the use of outside contractors and to handle most of the homestead work in-house.

Urbanik said Indiana’s homestead deduction can provide a substantial tax break to homeowners, in some cases cutting tax bills in half. “This makes the homestead deduction one of the most desired tax benefits offered in Indiana,” she said.

Taxpayers who improperly claim the homestead deduction shift the tax burden to other taxpayers. “That’s why it is so important to make sure taxpayers do not receive a tax benefit if they are not eligible for it,” Urbanik said. “At the same time, our office is committed to helping taxpayers understand the tax benefits that they can, legally, claim.”

Urbanik commended Auditor’s office employees for their diligent efforts investigating homestead deductions, both current deductions as well as new applications, to ensure compliance before the deductions are applied.

 

 

Posted 11/12/2016

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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