A bill that streamlines the property tax appeal process for taxpayers sailed through the General Assembly without a single dissenting vote.
“INFB fought for taxpayers to receive notices of assessment so that they can see assessment changes in advance, ask questions about those changes and file appeals as needed on a timely basis. No one should have to pay their tax bill without advance notice of what it is based on,” said Katrina Hall, INFB public policy director. “Without a notice of assessment, that’s exactly what is happening in about 20 of Indiana’s 92 counties.”
As passed, SEA 386 requires that appeals filed before Jan. 1, 2019, must be done within 45 days of receiving the notice of assessment or 45 days after tax statements are mailed, whichever is earlier, even if no change is made to the assessment. This means taxpayers in every county have different deadlines.
For assessments after Dec. 31, 2018, all appeals will have a uniform deadline – June 15. Appeals must be filed by June 15 of the assessment year if the notice of assessment is mailed by the county before May 1 of the assessment year, Hall said, reminding taxpayers that they pay real estate tax a year in arrears.
However, if no notice of assessment was mailed by May 1 of the assessment year, taxpayers have until June 15 of the tax statement year to file an appeal.
When no notice of assessment (also known as a “Form 11”) is mailed, taxpayers don’t have the opportunity to review their assessments in advance of tax bills. Counties that do not mail Form 11s will have less accurate values to calculate tax bills.
SEA 386 also includes a provision that, prior to a county property tax assessment board of appeals hearing, the taxpayer is allowed to see the information the county or township official will be using to support his or her position. It requires taxpayers to share information as well.