Lake County property assessments being mailed
By Carrie Napoleon Post-Tribune correspondent January 3, 2013 4:28PM
Updated: February 5, 2013 6:28AM
Lake County property owners can expect to find the results of the latest statewide general reassessment arriving in the mail in the next few days.
Form 11s, which compare the prior assessment to the current reassessment, were being mailed Thursday and Friday by Lake County Assessor Hank Adams’ office, according to Sherry Stone-Lucas, the office’s director of real estate.
“It is kind of a big thing. We want to make sure everybody is well informed,” Stone-Lucas said.
While trending — changes in the assessed value through a mass appraisal based on sales — is done every year, the reassessment is a more thorough statewide reassessment that involves physical visits to the property. The last statewide reassessment was completed in 2002 by Cole Layer Trumble. The current reassessment was completed by Nexus.
Beginning in 2014, the statewide reassessment will be done on a rolling basis with 25 percent of all types of property in the county reassessed each year, ultimately placing every property on a four-year reassessment cycle so values are more current.
Property owners who disagree with the reassessed value on the Form 11 do have recourse, Stone-Lucas said. Anyone who does not believe their property was assessed at the correct value has until Feb. 19 to file an appeal. The assessor’s office can accept a wide array of documentation from the property owner to support their claim.
Information about the reassessment and forms taxpayers may need can be found at the assessor’s website www.hankadams.com.
Stone-Lucas said the assessor’s office strives to get the assessments correct, but because workers do not actually enter the property during the reassessment process that information may not provide a complete picture.
“It’s difficult to judge a book by its cover so to speak, so they may be able to bring more information to light,” Stone-Lucas said.
Documentation that may be used to support the appeal includes, but is not limited to: A sale of the subject property if sold in 2011- 2012; sales of comparable properties where a similarity can be demonstrated; an appraisal with a valuation date of 2011-2012 or if a new appraisal the valuation date should be March 1, 2011; income and expense information if the property is an investment or commercial property; and homeowners insurance from 2011-2012.
Taxpayers may present any form of evidence that will provide an indication of the value of the appealed amount.
Taxpayers still served by a township assessor should file their appeal at the township. If they do not have an assessor they should file their appeal at the Lake County Assessor’s Office, 2293 N. Main St., Crown Point. Office hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
After appeals are filed, they will be sent to Nexus. Nexus will call the taxpayer for a preliminary conference. If enough information has been submitted a change will be made and the taxpayer will receive a form in the mail notifying them of the change.
Stone-Lucas said taxpayers should always pay their taxes even if they have an appeal pending. Payment can be made based on the previous year’s taxes if there was an increase in value. If the property owner wins the appeal they will not incur any penalties or interest.
In the event the appeal is unsuccessful, the property owner is responsible for all costs incurred.
More information is available at www.in.gov/dlgf.