Only a week
after Porter County Assessor John Scott agreed to withdraw his 2007 and 2008
tax appeals concerning ArcelorMittal’s steel facility in Burns Harbor, Scott
may do battle on the 2010 preliminary assessment.
Scott told the
Chesterton Tribune on Wednesday he received a memorandum from the
Indiana Department of Local Government Finance saying that the plant’s
assessed value has declined more than $8 million.
“Thant kind of
depreciation doesn’t happen overnight,” said Scott.
said the assessment now sits at $116,764,400, a sizeable drop compared to
the 2009 tax assessment of $125,045,800. The drop showed up in the
improvements column of the tax bill calculation. The land value however
communications specialist for the DLGF, said this morning the DLGF indicated
in the information passed on to Scott the decrease was related to
depreciation and current market data. Assessment in Indiana is done based on
Scott said he
would like the DLGF to let him know how they came up with the new figure. He
has passed the information along to the county council and the commissioners
and hopes he can get the state to hold a public meeting at the Porter County
Administration Center to explain to the county how they came up with the
“We need to know
what (the state) is doing because I can’t explain it to the people,” said
Scott. He said he wonders how the property assessment could decline when all
industrial and commercial properties are raised at one percent.
Scott said he
will speak with his tax attorney Marilyn Meighen who he retained in his
efforts to appeal the state’s 2007 and 2008 assessments, which were close to
$126 million. Scott has argued the Mittal property should be assessed at
$80,000 per acre instead of $19,000. He feels the assessment should be close
to $335 million while Mittal has argued an even lower assessment of $91
A closed meeting
was held last Thursday between Scott and the attorneys which resulted in
both the county and Mittal eventually coming to an agreement to withdraw
their appeals in order to bring stability to the assessment. The agreement
still remains open as of today.
Scott did not
say if he would try to appeal the 2010 assessment but is searching for
clarification. Recent changes to the appeal law have made it more difficult
for county assessors to appeal assessments, needing substantial evidence or
risk the chance of not being able to make any further appeals. Mittal and
the assessor have 30 days to make comment on the assessment.