Chesterton Tribune

County budget order revised to include homestead credit rate

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

The Chesterton Tribune reported yesterday the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance certified the Porter County 2010 Budget Order and Tax Rates, just a few days ahead of the statutory Feb. 15 deadline. However, the agency discovered on Thursday they had accidentally omitted the percentage of homestead credit rate in their report.

The DLGF was notified about the exclusion by Democratic county auditor candidate and Chesterton Tribune reporter Vicki Urbanik, who noticed the homestead credit rate missing when she looked at the budget order Thursday.

Urbanik said she also caught the same mistake of the DLGF leaving out the homestead credit rates two years ago in the 2008 budget order when the auditor’s office was already a few days into calculating the tax bills.

DLGF Communications Director Amanda Stanley said an e-mail was sent to the Porter County Auditor’s office notifying them of the exclusion and that a revised budget order with the homestead credit rate percentages had since been issued. The revised budget report is also available for public viewing on the agency’s Web site, www.in.gov/dlgf

County Auditor Jim Kopp said he did not see the e-mail from the DLGF nor was notified of the revision. He did say the auditor’s office received the budget order around noon on Thursday.

The homestead credit rate for the taxing units came to 9.8 percent according to this year’s budget report, lower than the 12.1 percent for the 2009 tax rates. The homestead credit rate is determined based on the county economic development income tax.

With the DLGF completing their action to certify the budget order, Kopp said his office will start preparing to calculate the tax bills, which will be due to the county treasurer’s office and are to be mailed no later than April 23 according to state law.

Kopp this morning said his office could have the tax bills mailed out as early as the first week of April, but they will work carefully to make sure the values are done correctly.

“There are several things that have got to get done that you just don’t snap your fingers to,” he said.

The state calls for the first installment of the 2010 tax levy to be due by May 10. The county collected the first installment of the 2009 tax bills on Dec. 4.

Taxpayers can estimate their 2010 property tax bill at the DLGF’s Web site, www.in.gov/dlgf, by using the online property tax calculator. Taxpayers should also be advised that their true tax bill amount is to be determined by the county.

Following below is a listing of the 2010 District Taxing Rates according to the Budget Order approved by the DLGF. The tax rate (the certified levy divided by assessed value) is expressed in terms of “dollars per $100 of assessed value.”

District Tax Rate

Boone Township 2.2885

Hebron (Boone) 2.8475

Center Township 1.3588

Valparaiso (Center) 2.2115

Jackson Township 1.3293

Liberty Township 1.3805

Chesterton-Liberty TWP 2.1500

Morgan Township 1.5646

Pine Twp-M.C. Schools 1.6183

Pine Township-Duneland 1.3771

Beverly Shores (Pines) 1.8816

Pines Town (Pines TWP) 1.9880

Pleasant Township 1.6348

Kouts (Pleasant) 1.9999

Portage Township 1.7942

Portage City-Portage TWP 2.4152

Ogden Dunes (Portage) 1.8600

Porter Township 1.5091

Union Township 1.4936

Washington Township 1.5998

Westchester Township 1.4095

Portage City- Wst Twp 2.3162

Chesterton- Wst Township 2.1978

Burns Harbor (Wstchstr) 1.6565

Dune Acres (Westchester) 1.6825

Porter Town (Westchester) 2.2926

Chesterton-Jackson TWP 2.1337

Porter TWP-W Porter Fire 1.4855

Valparaiso-Wash. TWP 2.5241

Posted 2/12/2010