The stress and
agony over late tax bills in Porter County continues to become a distant
memory as Treasurer Mike Bucko, Assessor Jon Snyder and Auditor Robert
Wichlinski announced Thursday the fifth consecutive year of on-time billing.
Bucko said the
accomplishment was due in part to collaboration with his fellow elected
“I will say this
year has been the most seamless when it comes to working across offices to
accomplish the task,” said Bucko.
The billing process
starts with the assessor who determines the gross assessed value. The
auditor applies exemptions, deductions and abatements to get the net
assessed values, which are then given to the Indiana Department of Local
Government to certify budgets for all government units. Once the budgets are
finalized, the auditor’s office calculates the tax bills and then the
Treasurer prints and mails them.
The 2013 pay 2014
property tax bills made it off the printer seven days earlier than last
year, Bucko said.
Bills were sent to
the post office on Tuesday and have been hitting mailboxes since, he added.
Spring payments will be due on Monday, May 12. Fall installments will be due
Monday, Nov. 10.
credit to Low and Associates software specialists, based in South Bend, for
their help in calculating budget abstracts. He said this year he has better
able to project the impacts of the state’s 1-2-3 property tax caps.
Last year, 5,300
property tax bills in Duneland were corrected and sent out after the
auditor’s office learned that revenue from the school referendum approved in
2012 is exempt from the tax caps.
With more accurate
budget projections, and the assessor’s office being caught up with appeals,
units of government can a better handle on funding their operations,
Wichlinski said. “That’s where timeliness becomes everything,” said
Wichlinski, who also acknowledged that even in his office’s best effort
there will be some mistakes along the way.
taxpayers that the date to appeal their assessment for the 2013 pay 2014
bills has passed. Appeals are to be made 45 days after taxpayers receive
their Form 11 assessment notices in the fall. The last day to appeal was
Nov. 6, Snyder said.
Snyder said his
office is ahead of where they were last year for the 2014 pay 2015
what’s most rewarding about the process is seeing workers from his staff
asking questions and getting answers from employees in the assessor and
treasurer office. He said the recent staff restructuring in the auditor’s
office, which included the elimination of five employees, has in fact sped
Bucko said the
process has been easier on him as well with the contracted services of
Gov-Tech. Gov-Tech works between banks, escrow and mortgage companies to
make sure that the 39,000 of the 84,500 parcels in the county can pay their
taxes error free with these companies and is no cost to County government,
minimizes the process of surplus tax refund payments having to be paid back
to the taxpayer and virtually eliminates double payments, Bucko said.