Porter County assessor expecting fewer property tax appeals this year
BY AMY LAVALLEY Post-Tribune correspondent September 23, 2013 11:30PM
Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder (right) along with deputy assessor Mary Dambeck, are expecting fewer people to appeal their assessments this year. | Post-Tribune File Photo
VALPARAISO — Assessments throughout Porter County are generally stable, if not down slightly, according to Jon Snyder, the county’s assessor.
His office sent out 60,000 notices Friday, and the Portage Township Assessor sent out another 20,000.
The county did lose some of its assessed valuation this year — about 3 percent — but the county’s assessed valuation is around $14 billion, “so when you’re talking 3 percent of that number, it’s not a big concern.”
Snyder expects a little more than 2,000 people to appeal their assessments, considerably fewer than the 4,000 folks who appealed last year, which was a reassessment year.
“We’re hoping for a lot less this year,” he said Monday, adding that the call volume in his office was half of what he saw last year on the Monday after the notices went out. “Last year, we learned a lot of lessons.”
Nov. 4 is the deadline to appeal an assessment, and taxpayers can do so on the assessor’s website, www.portercountyassessor.com. Porter County is the only county in the state that has an online appeal, Snyder said.
The only structure in the county that doesn’t have an assessment coming in the mail is Porter Regional Hospital. Snyder took the hospital to court in the spring because officials hadn’t turned over the necessary documents for the assessment. The hospital was ordered in court to hand in what the county needed.
“The appraiser has everything we need now to complete the appraisal,” Snyder said, adding he expects that report, which is being done by a third party, to be complete in the next two to three weeks.
The assessor’s office decided to send out the rest of the assessments, even though the one for the hospital wasn’t ready, which Snyder said is unprecedented for the county.
“The desire was to get these out before taxpayers make their second (property tax) installment on Nov. 10,” he said, adding that didn’t happen last year because the assessments went out a week later.
He doesn’t expect the hospital’s assessment to have an impact at this point.
“This assessment is for next year’s taxes, so there’s time for these things, like the hospital situation, to be resolved,” he said.