Local Leaders To Explore Property Tax System In Purdue Extension Workshop

Purdue Extension will provide a workshop for local leaders to learn about Indiana’s property tax system and explore trends in local and regional property tax data next Wednesday, Jan. 29, from 1-3:30 p.m. at the Jackson County Community Foundation. Local government officials, community leaders, and interested residents from Bartholomew, Brown, Jackson, Jennings, Lawrence, Scott and Washington counties are invited to attend.
In Indiana, each local government unit sets its property tax levy—or what it intends to collect through property taxes—based on its budget and other revenue sources. The levy is then divided by the assessed value in the local government’s jurisdiction to get a property tax rate.
Every property parcel is served by a set of local governments—a county, a township, a school district and perhaps a city or town, library or special districts. The tax rates of these overlapping government units are added up to the total tax rate a taxpayer sees on their tax bill.
Tax bills are then capped at 1% for homesteads, 2% for farmland/other residential and 3% for all other property. The caps provide a tax break for property owners, but create a revenue loss for local governments. The loss of taxes through these tax cap credits is then shared by the overlapping units. Each unit’s revenue depends on the actions of the other units, so often local officials from one unit may not see or understand how they fit into the complete property tax system. Nor do they usually have the opportunity to compare their data to others in the region or of similar population.
The median property tax rate in Indiana in 2019 was $2.15 per $100 net assessed value. Of the counties covered in the workshop two have average tax rates below the state median—Brown and Jackson. Not surprisingly they also have two of three highest per capita assessed value in the region at $86,081 and $47,707 respectively. Assessed values in Jennings, Lawrence, Scott, and Washington counties are among the lowest 25 percent in the state- all under $35,000 per capita.
The workshop will dive deeper into these numbers as well as take a look at the variations within each of these counties.
To register, call the Purdue Extension Jackson County Office at 812-358-6101, email Heather VonDielingen at schneidh@purdue.edu, or visit www.cdext.purdue.edu. Registration is due by Monday, Jan. 27.
If the workshop is cancelled due to weather, it will be reschedule for February 5. Registrants will be notified by email or phone call if it is necessary to cancel.