Proposed tax hike could help close poor relief gap – Thomas Langhorne – Courier & Press

EVANSVILLE, Ind. — A new statewide township reform proposal contains a provision that could — but likely won’t — help reduce a huge disparity in poor relief funding in Vanderburgh County.

As part of the bill that will be heard in the Indiana House Ways and Means Committee next week, townships could appeal to the state for a two-cent increase in their property tax rate funding “township assistance.”

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NACS has signatures for project – Ashley Sloboda – The Journal Gazette

Northwest Allen County Schools continues to check off boxes as it works to place a $34 million referendum for a new elementary school and other improvements on the May ballot.

Community members are also stepping up to help with the referendum efforts.

The 7,500-student district wants to build an elementary school to accommodate growth. It has gained about 500 elementary students since 2009-10 and expects to add nearly 350 more by 2022-23, a recent demographic study found.

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Indianapolis-area counties see big surge in early property tax payments – Hayleigh Colombo –

Thousands of residents in central Indiana pre-paid their property tax bills before Jan. 1, resulting in more than $31 million in early payments, according to research by IBJ.

It’s not clear how many of the payments were being made early to try to take advantage of an income tax deduction that will soon change because it’s not unusual for some people to pay in advance, but the amount of early payments marked a significant increase for some areas.

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Indiana official says Lake cannot extend the filing period for property tax deduction. Taxpayers can still file online until Sunday – Bill Dolan –

A state official said Friday that Lake County Auditor John Petalas cannot extend the filing period for homestead and mortgage deductions beyond the end of this year.

Jenny Banks, director of communications for the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, said Friday the auditor’s announcement Thursday of an extension to Jan. 5 was in error.

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Group calls for review of commercial tax assessments – Dave Taylor – Tribune Star

An outside review of commercial property assessments is the first recommendation from a group working for more efficiency in Terre Haute and Vigo County government.

A 10-member team study team chaired by restaurant owner Scott Womack released a report Wednesday charging that under-assessment is costing the city and county millions of dollars in property tax revenues.

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The Dark Store Theory and Other Lies the Government Told – Judy S. Engel and Lynn S. Linné – Bloomberg BNA

Dark stores are closed and vacant commercial buildings. Big-box retailers have argued that dark stores can be considered when valuing their property. Assessors and appraisers have argued that dark stores are not comparable to open and operating stores, and shouldn’t be used for property tax valuation. In this article, Fredrikson & Byron, P.A.’s Judy Engel and Lynn Linné discuss the dark stores theory and why using vacant stores in property valuation is an acceptable appraisal practice.

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Downward trend: Predicting base rate of farmland for property taxes – Larry DeBoer –

The late, great George Carlin had a routine about a weather forecaster.

“The forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark throughout the night, with scattered light in the morning.”

Some predictions are easy.

Predicting the base rate of farmland used to be easy too. The base rate is the starting point for setting the assessed value of farmland for property taxes. The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance recalculates it every year with a capitalization formula. They divide measures of farm income by a rate of return. The base rate for taxes this year is $1,960 per acre.

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