By MATT KOESTERS
Tax assessments were sent to Clark County property owners earlier this week, and if you disagree with the assessed value of your property, the clock is ticking to file an appeal.
Notices of assessment were mailed out to every parcel owner in the county Tuesday. Property owners will have until Dec. 20 to file appeals of the new assessments with the assessor’s office, said Clark County Assessor Vicky Kent Haire.
“Everyone will receive one this year,” Haire said. “That will be your first and only chance to appeal your assessment for the 2012-pay-2013 tax year. Once your receive your tax bill for 2012-pay-2013 next spring, you will not be able to file an appeal on your assessment.”
Several factors contributed to changes to property assessments this year. The state of Indiana updated residential and commercial cost tables. Previous assessments were based on 1999 costs, according to a document issued by the assessor’s office. Cost tables will be updated annually going forward.
To appeal assessments, property owners must provide notice in writing to the assessor’s office. The written notice should include the name of the taxpayer, the address of the property, the key number or the parcel number of the property and the address and telephone number of the property.
“We don’t recommend [appraisals]. We can’t recommend that per the state,” Haire said. “[Taxpayers] can bring in comparable listings. They can bring in comparable sales in their neighborhood, but we have comparable sales ... that’s we have to use. That’s part of the annual trending process. ... We do annual trending, which is based upon sales in the neighborhood, and we do those on a price-per-square-foot basis.”
Another grounds for an appeal of assessment would be if you have a vacant property that you plan to repair, Haire said.
“Those assessments can be lowered for one year to give the taxpayer the opportunity to fix it up and get it to market value,” Haire said. “Those usually stay in place for one year.”
New rules govern mobile homes and agricultural land. Mobile homes and double-wide trailers are now assessed as single-family residences, excluding those taxed as personal property.
Agricultural land base rates went from $1,500 per acre to $1,630 per acre. This change was state-mandated, according to documentation from the assessor’s office.