Chesterton Tribune                                                                                   Adv.

Assessor says county not behind for next year's tax bills

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By JEFF SCHULTZ

Porter County Assessor John Scott said that even though his office had not completed its submission of the county’s sales ratio study to the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance by their suggested deadline of May 28, the agency “made a mistake” in saying the county is falling behind in keeping on track with on-time property tax billing for 2011.

The county assessor’s office expects today to submit their final component of the ratio study to the DLGF, which compares property sales prices to assessed values in the county to ensure assessed values are based at market value.

Scott said the May 28 deadline set by the DLGF is not a state mandated deadline. The first of such statutory deadlines is July 1, he said, which is when the assessor’s office will need to send their figures for the county’s gross assessed values to the county auditor’s office. The auditor and assessor will then need to make sure their data matches and can be rolled.

A deputy in the assessor’s office said they expect to have the figures ready for preliminary rolls as early as this week, fully expectant they can sufficiently meet the July 1 deadline ahead of time.

Scott said the reason the office did not complete the ratio study step by the suggested May 28 date was because he overlooked the requirement of including the assessor book. He said the week delay wouldn’t matter because the DLGF is busy checking other ratio studies from Indiana’s 92 counties.

“This in no way will hold up the taxes,” he said.

Amanda Stanley, assistant director of communications for the DLGF, said as of Monday, 29 counties in Indiana still have to complete the step of submitting ratio studies and have received a significant amount since May 28.

Stanley said there are places in the process where counties could make up time if needed. She said the May 28 suggested date is so counties can meet the statutory July 1 deadline, indicating it would be more difficult for counties to roll their assessment data without having their ratios study approved first.

“Our goal is still on-time billing for all counties for values 2010 pay 2011,” she said. “Those counties who have already submitted their ratio studies are in excellent shape, but that is not to say that a county that has not submitted can’t achieve on-time billing.”

In 2009, only 16 counties submitted ratio studies by June. For this year, the state has received 63 ratio studies so far and approved 33.

The DLGF reported in April that at least 85 counties in Indiana, including Porter, met the May 10 tax bill due date for 2010, the first time since 2002.

 

Posted 6/7/2010 

 

 

 

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