On-Time Property Tax Bills Possible In Jackson County

The Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) certified Jackson County’s 2010 budget order and tax rates last week, giving the county an opportunity for on-time property tax bills for the first time in at least three years. The budget certification came 192 days sooner than last year, putting the county in a position to have taxes due on May 10, 2010.
The statutory deadline for issuance of a budget order is February 15. However, Owen and Kosciusko–the only two counties to achieve on-time billing in 2009–received certified budget orders much later (March 24, 2009 and April 7, 2009, respectively.)
“We know from past experience that on-time bills are still possible with later budget orders,” Commissioner Timothy J. Rushenberg said. “Teamwork and communication among all involved in the assessment-to-tax billing process has brought us to this point, and continued local efforts can still make on-time billing a reality.”
The first step in the assessment to tax billing process is the completion of the property assessments, which culminates with the submission of a ratio study by the county assessor. A ratio study is a comparison between property sales prices and assessed values in the county to ensure that market values are being used to determine assessed values.
Jackson County Assessor Bev Gaiter submitted the 2010 ratio study November 13, 2009–78 days sooner than last year.
Once the DLGF approves the ratio study, the county assessor sends the gross assessed values to the county auditor, who applies exemptions, deductions or abatements to determine the net assessed values–the values upon which tax rates are based. Jackson County Auditor Debra Eggeman submitted certified net assessed values January 28, 2010 – 189 days sooner than the previous year.
Now that the 2010 budget has been certified by the DLGF, the next steps are handled at the county level. The county auditor calculates the bills, which should be mailed by the county treasurer no later than April 23, 2010.
Taxpayers interested in estimating their property tax bill may do so using the DLGF’s online property tax calculator at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/4932.htm. Taxpayers will need their property’s assessed value, deductions, and taxing district to use the tool. The estimates provided are projections only and should not be taken as a statement of true tax liability, which is determined by the county.
A copy of the Jackson County budget is available at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/2587.htm.