The Republic Masthead

Nonprofit’s properties won’t be in tax sale


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A group of 29 Housing Partnerships Inc. properties are listed as part of a Bartholomew County tax sale, but the county says the properties won’t actually be sold.

While the properties are delinquent in property taxes, they are part of an ongoing court battle with the Bartholomew County Property Tax Board of Appeals over Housing Partnership’s tax status.

Bartholomew County Treasurer Pia O’Connor said the properties are eligible for tax sale because HPI hasn’t filed an appeal with the county saying the properties are part of the tax case.

“That said, they obviously have options, one of which is to continue their process through the court system,” O’Connor said. “It’s my understanding that they are planning on continuing their process.”

HPI has been attempting to regain its charitable purpose property-tax exemption since it was stripped away in 2007 by the county’s property tax board of appeals. The agency appealed the decision to the Indiana Tax Court.

HPI is part of the Thrive Alliance, in a partnership with Aging & Community Services that was formed in 2013. The agency has not been paying property taxes on the properties in question since 2006, when it applied for a property exemption request. HPI has paid taxes on projects in the pipeline or completed after the 2006 ruling, which have never received a property tax exemption.

Housing Partnerships

Housing Partnerships Inc. is a local, volunteer-based housing development company whose mission is to develop quality affordable housing for hardworking families who cannot otherwise afford a good home in the community.

It was conceived by a Sunday school class at First Presbyterian Church in 1989 and incorporated as a nonprofit organization in 1990.

Today, HPI is a division of Thrive Alliance, which includes Aging & Community Services of South Central Indiana and the First Steps program for families with infants and toddlers.

Leadership: Mark Lindenlaub, executive director

Address: 1531 13th St., Suite G-900, Columbus

Phone: 812-376-9458

Online: hpicolumbus.org

Thrive Alliance deputy director Staci Likens said having the properties listed as part of the tax sale is a routine occurrence and the properties will be removed from the list before the sale.

“Those kind of cycle through and kind of come up again,” she said. “Those are in tax court.”

The Indiana Tax Court ruled against HPI’s appeal on June 6, but the nonprofit has appealed that ruling.

Likens said HPI has the option to wait until it has exhausted all of its appeals to pay the outstanding taxes and any penalties and has chosen to exercise that right.

HPI owes $617,751.44 in back property taxes and is waiting to see if the Indiana Tax Court will reconsider its request for reconsideration.

A decision is expected this month.

If HPI isn’t successful in its appeal to the Indiana Tax Court, the agency can appeal the ruling to the Indiana Supreme Court.

HPI Executive Director Mark Lindenlaub has said he will wait for the Indiana Tax Court reconsideration ruling before deciding whether to appeal the matter to the high court.

If HPI is successful in getting the ruling overturned, it will not have to pay any outstanding taxes or penalties. It also will be entitled to a refund of the about $57,000 per year it has paid on projects begun or completed after the 2006 ruling.

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