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The Bartholomew County Assessor’s Office will mail updated property assessments to home and business owners today, and the clock now starts ticking on when people can appeal if they think the values look too high.
“People should get the notices in their mailboxes on Saturday or Monday,” Assessor Lew Wilson said. “Under state law, they’ll have 45 days — until Dec. 9 — to appeal.”
The notices are going out a month earlier than last year, and Wilson said he expects a smoother process than a year ago, when a backlog of appeals kept his office busy for months amid a statewide reassessment of property.
“I anticipate there will be fewer appeals this year,” Wilson said. “I feel like we’ve made more progress the last few months than we had the previous two years.”
The assessor said the housing market in the county also has seen more sales lately, and that helps his office get current comparable price data that helps place accurate values on homes in particular areas.
Homeowners have all sorts of reasons for filing property tax appeals. Some point to a lower recent appraisal done for a bank or mortgage company’s loan department when they refinanced mortgage debt.
Others cite recent, lower sales prices in their neighborhood on similar homes as proof the assessor’s calculations may be too high. And still others point to a perceived decline in nearby structures as a reason their property isn’t worth as much.
When taxpayers get their updated assessments in the mail, it’s just the first step in the process of paying property taxes.
Actual tax bills go out in the spring and fall of next year.
Meanwhile, Wilson’s office is continuing to work its way through remaining appeals from the past tax year.
The assessor said his office began with 2,112 appeals for the 2012-2013 assessment year. There are 690 still under review, about a third of the total, Wilson said.
Filing a tax assessment appeal
Taxpayers can file an appeal after consulting with the assessor’s office.
Last year, the appeal form (Form 11) was placed on the assessor’s website, but Assessor Lew Wilson said the forms were often returned missing key information.
“We would like property owners to come in to talk with us so we can answer their questions while they are here. Last year we satisfied many concerns with face-to-face meetings,” Wilson said.
The Form 11 must be completed and delivered to the Assessor’s Office before a Dec. 9 deadline to keep the taxpayer’s appeal alive.
The Bartholomew County Assessor’s Office is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Address: 440 Third St., second floor
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