News From Terre Haute, Indiana

May 14, 2013

Vigo has 1,900 property tax appeals waiting to be resolved

Howard Greninger
The Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — With a new Property Tax Assessment board of appeals in place, Vigo County’s assessor is starting to schedule informal hearings on nearly 1,200 appeals for 2012 property taxes.

However, the county still has about 700 appeals for 2011 property taxes remaining to resolve, both with informal and formal hearings.

A formal hearing is held after no resolution is made in an informal hearing. The formal hearing is held before the three-member PTA board of appeals. After the county board reaches a decision, a property taxpayer has the option to appeal to the Indiana Board of Tax Review, which reviews real and personal property tax assessments, property tax exemptions, deductions and credits.

Vigo County Commissioners last month appointed John Church to the Vigo County PTA board of appeals. Brian Kerns, a former U.S. representative, was appointed last week. Kerns served in the U.S. House from 2001-02 in the former Indiana 7th Congressional District.

Board of appeals member Steve Moore resigned from the board earlier this year.

“Now that we have the full board, we are scheduling informal and formal hearings,” County Assessor Debbie Lewis said Monday. “We have to get the new board members’ schedule together.”

Lewis said the PTA board of appeals is now required to give 30 days notice of a hearing. Previously, only 10-days notice was required. That notice period can be waived by a person appealing their property taxes, she said.

Most appeals are completed “in less than a couple of months,” the assessor said. “It depends on if additional information is required. The board does not make a decision at the time of the hearing. That is done in a work session held later,” Lewis said.

In a separate issue, Vigo County Treasurer Jim Bramble said the county will know by mid-June the percentage of property tax collections that has been received for disbursement to taxing units, such as the county or city of Terre Haute.

Historically, property tax collections in Vigo County are in the low- to mid-90 percentile. Friday marked the deadline to pay spring property tax bills. Fall tax bills are due Nov. 12, as Nov. 10 falls on a Sunday and Nov. 11 is Veterans Day.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or howard.greninger@tribstar.com.