Chesterton Tribune



State sets final property tax rates; Duneland rates go up and down

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The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) certified Porter Countyís 2014 budget order and tax rates on Tuesday.

DLGF also announced the certified levies and rates of all 29 individual taxing units in the county.

In general, tax rates increased throughout the county. Still, more than half of the 11 Duneland districts saw their tax rates lower this year, although only slightly.

Tax rates are computed by dividing the total tax levy by the total net assessed value, which is then divided by 100 to get the rate. If thereís an increase in a levy and a decrease in assessed value, the state will raise the rate.

The Duneland unit with the biggest tax-rate dip was unincorporated Jackson Township. with a .0212 decrease, but the taxing unit whose rate declined the most was Porter Township, with a .0506 drop.

On the other side, Portage City-Westchester claimed the highest rate for the units in the Duneland region with 3.0134, which is a .1191 increase over 2013. The Duneland unit with the biggest jump compared to last year is Chesterton-Westchester. with a .1711 increase, totaling 2.6954.

Two other Chesterton units also had an increase in their rates: Chesterton-Liberty with 2.6242 and Chesterton-Jackson with 2.6072.

In other Duneland municipalities, the Town of Porter saw its rate compute higher than Chestertonís three units, with 2.8649; while Burns Harbor had a 2.0795 rate and Dune Acres a 2.0591 rate.

Meanwhile, the Duneland School Corporationís overall rate declined to 1.0817, a .0167 decrease from last year, due to reduced amounts in the debt service and transportation funds. The school referendum fund was certified at its full 22 cents this year.

The state set the Duneland School Corporationís certified levy at $26.2 million.

Dunelandís certified assessed value is listed at $2.391 billion, which is the highest of any school corporation in the county, followed by Valparaiso Community Schools with $2.062 billion.

Also, the Westchester Public Library systemís certified levy was figured at $2.7 million with a tax rate of .1763. WPLís tax rate in 2013 was .1686.

At the county level, the state certified the levy for the Porter County General Fund at $32.4 million with a certified budget of $35.7 million, resulting in a tax rate of .3869. The total tax rate for all county budgets--including the jail, cumulative bridge, and CCD funds--is .4537, about .01 lower than last year.

The budget order puts the countyís certified AV at $8.368 billion, compared to $8.421 billion in 2013.

Taxpayers with the homestead credit will see a boost in their credit percentage. This yearís credit is 9.8133 percent, comparable to 9.0485 percent in 2013. Itís the highest the countyís homestead credit rate has been since 2010.

A copy of the Porter County budget is available at

Tax bills

The DLGF said in a statement issued on Tuesday that Porter is the 83rd county--out of 92 in the state--to have its 2014 budget orders and tax rates certified, a necessary step in getting out 2013 pay 2014 tax bills, which is to be done by Feb. 15.

The county is on the path to on-time tax bills, the DLGF said.

DLGF Commissioner Micah Vincent said in the statement that this is the fifth consecutive year that the state has worked with the counties to expedite on-time billing. A tremendous amount of collaboration between local and state officials is required to ensure property tax bills go out on time, he added.

Now that the 2014 budgets have been certified, the County Auditorís office will calculate the tax bills. These bills are to be mailed by the County Treasurer no later than April 25.

The following is the list of 2014 total tax rates given by the state in descending order with their 2013 rates in parentheses for comparison:

Duneland Increases

* Portage City-Westchester: 3.0134 (2.8943).

* Porter Town-Westchester: 2.8649 (2.7147).

* Chesterton-Westchester: 2.6954 (2.5243).

* Chesterton-Liberty: 2.6242 (2.4593).

* Chesterton-Jackson: 2.6072 (2.4429)

Duneland Decreases

* Burns Harbor: 2.0795 (2.0978).

* Dune Acres:: 2.0591 (2.0627).

* Westchester Township: 1.7705 (1.7875).

* Liberty Township: 1.7320 (1.7420).

* Pine Township-Duneland School Corporation: 1.7166 (1.7364).

* Jackson Township: 1.6717 (1.6929).

Increases Elsewhere

* Hebron: 3.1806 (3.0760).

* Portage City-Portage Township: 2.9394 (2.8165).

* Valparaiso-Washington: 2.8543 (2.7808).

* Valparaiso City: 2.7118 (2.6983).

* Boone Township: 2.5255 (2.4595)

* Ogden Dunes: 2.2465 (2.1363).

* Kouts (Pleasant Twp.): 2.2270 (2.1197).

* Center Township: 1.7403 (1.6602).

* Union Township: 1.7318 (1.5663).

* Pleasant Township: 1.6936 (1.6856).

* Washington Township: 1.6787 (1.6850).

* Morgan Township: 1.6221 (1.6149).

* Pines Town: 1.4515 (1.3655).

* Pine Township-Michigan City School Corporation: 1.0146 (1.0019).

Decreases Elsewhere

* Portage Township: 1.9335 (1.9700).

* Porter Township.-West Porter Fire: 1.7302 (1.7808).

* Porter Township: 1.7179 (1.7955).

* Beverly Shores : 1.3588 (1.3965).


Posted 2/13/2104




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