Functions of the County Assessor office:

 

1.  Assessing in Putnam County

   
 

The assessing field is a two-tier system.  The County Assessor is actually an oversight roll to the Township Assessor.  In Putnam County there is a full time staff in the Real Estate Reassessment Department that data collects and data enters all the information necessary to assess real property.  This staff has a direct reporting duty to the Township Assessors who are all elected on a part time basis.  Therefore the Real Estate Reassessment Department has an indirect reporting duty to the County Assessor.

 

 

 

2.  Real Estate and Personal Property Appeals

   
 

The County Assessor is responsible for the functioning of the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA).  In a practical sense, this means that the County Assessor is responsible for the processing of every taxpayer appeal.  This currently involves serving as Secretary and requires many administrative activities to ensure the rapid and proper processing of taxpayer appeals of both real and personal property assessments.  It is through our role in the real and personal property tax appeal process that County Assessors are most visible to the public.  The public perceives that we are responsible for the entire property tax system, from the assessed valuation placed on their property the by Township Assessor to the amount of the tax bill sent by the Treasurer.  The public is confused by the apparent duplication of offices.

Should a property owner disagree with their assessment, they are entitled to an appeal.  All appeals should begin with the township assessor of the township in which the property is located.  A review of the property record card is important to ensure that all of the features of the property have been reported correctly.  These include square footage, number of plumbing fixtures, finished or unfinished attics and basement, etc. 

Any discrepancy of these objective portions of the assessment may be handled at that time.  If, however, there are subjective aspects of assessment that need to be appealed, a Form 130 should be filed with the County Assessor or Real Estate Department for further review.

 

 

Form 133 – Correction of Errors.  If an objective discrepancy exists that requires correction, this form is filed with the County Assessor or Real Estate Department.  If the error encompasses multiple years, the form may be used to correct up to (3) years or six taxing periods.  Once the correction is made you may file a Form 17T to apply for a refund of property tax, of one is due.

   
 

Form 130 Petition to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA).  To appeal an assessment notice, the taxpayer must file a Form 130 with the County Assessor within 45 days of receipt of the Form 11 (tax notice) from the Township Assessor.  If the Form 130 is filed by May 10th, the petition will be reviewed for that calendar year.

   
 

Form 121 Petition to the Indiana board of Tax Review.  A determination will be sent to the taxpayer and the Township Assessor by the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals.  Either party may request a review by the Indiana Board of Tax Review by filing a form 131 with the county Assessor within 30 days of receipt of the determination.

   
 

Petition to the State Tax Court.  Once the Indiana Board of Tax Review gives notice of its determination, the petitioner may seek a review by the Tax Court by petitioning the court 45 days of the determination.  A copy of the appeal should be filed with the Attorney General and the County Assessor in the county in which the property is located.

   
 

3.  Review Not-For-profit Applications for property tax exemptions 

Indiana Code 6-1.1-10-16 describes the use and/or purpose to become tax-exempt.  Organizations such as charitable, educational, religious may be eligible for tax exemption.  An exemption must be timely filed or it will be deemed waived.  Exemptions must be filed on or before May 15 with the County Assessor.  To apply, a form 136 (State Form Number SP198 and forms 9284 and05748 available at the County Assessor’s office or on line at www.accessindiana.com.  Along with these forms you must also provide a copy of the organization bylaws, Articles of Incorporation, financial Statements for the previous three (3) years*, balance sheets, summary of income and expenditures and Exemption letter and other relevant documents from the IRS.

* If the church objects to releasing financial information, the church may write a letter to the PTABOA stating its objections.

The Putnam county Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA) will, after careful consideration, approve or deny the application.  Notice of the determination of the PTABOA will be sent to the petitioner.  A denial can be appealed to the Indiana board of Tax Review within thirty days of the denial notice.

Exemptions are scheduled on a two-year cycle (I.C. 6-1.10110305b).  The current cycle began in 2004.  An exemption granted after that would only be effective until the next cycle in 2006.  Churches need not file again after receiving an approval unless something changes. i.e. Land is acquired or sold, etc.  Churches and some other religious properties are generally exempt from property tax in Indiana.  I.C 6-1.1-10-16 (as) provides:  “all or part of a building is exempt from property taxation if it is owned, occupied and used by a person for education, literacy, scientific, religious, or charitable purposes.”

 Church property may qualify under IRS and Indiana income tax guidelines for exemption and not qualify under property tax guidelines for exemption.  Information on income tax for Not-for-Profit Organizations is contained in Information Bulletin #17 and form IT-35A from the Department of Revenue.

   
 

4.  Calculate Inheritance Tax          

Most taxpayers are unaware of inheritance tax laws until a relative passes away.  These relatives become acutely aware of the process when the check they have written, generally to pay for funeral services, is sent back to them by the bank because the account (owned by the deceased relative) has been frozen.  Why was the account frozen?  Because “consent to transfer” must be signed by the County Assessor to release most funds.  The County Assessor must also verify the value of the assets listed on Probate Court documents.  The interaction for this duty is between the Probate Court and the Department of State Revenue.  Cooperation is good between these offices and the public is well served. 

A long-standing problem is that inheritance laws are interpreted differently from one county to another, which generates confusion for the public.  A new problem is a welcome one: Inheritance rates have decreased dramatically.  Fewer taxes will be paid, but a relatively unchanged paperwork process remains.  The paperwork is rapidly becoming a non-revenue generating nuisance to all involved.  It will be difficult to justify having dedicated staff at the County level for this process in a few years.

   
 

Estate

Under the Internal Revenue code, the value of a decedent’s gross estate is determined by including the value, at the time of death, of all real and personal property, including tangible and intangible property, wherever situated [26USCS-2031(a)].  It includes the value of all property to the extent of the decedent’s interest in it at the time of death.  The taxable estate consists of the gross estate minus certain deductions for expenses, debt taxes, losses, charitable gifts and bequests to the surviving spouse. [26 USCS-2051].

   
 

Rates and Exemptions

Transfers to a spouse are completely exempt from Indiana inheritance tax (I.C. 6-4.1-3-7).  Each heir or beneficiary of a decedent’s estate is divided into three classes; each class is entitled to a specific exemption (I.C. 6-4.1-3-91).

Class A:           Spouse, Children, Grandchildren, Parents

Effective July 1, 1997, the first $100,000.00 of an estate going to an heir in Class A is exempt of inheritance tax.  Estates over the first $100,000.00, the tax is as follows:

$25,000 or less - ..................................................................................................................1%

25,000 to $50,000 - ...........................................................2% over the first $25,000 plus $250.00

50,000 to $200,000 - ..........................................................3% over the first $50,000 plus $750.00

$200,000 to $300,000 - ..................................................4% over the first $200,000 plus $5,250.00

$300,000 to $500,000 - ..................................................5% over the first $300,000 plus $9,250.00

$500,000 to $700,000 - ................................................6% over the first $500,000 plus $19,250.00

$700,000 to $1 million - ................................................7% over the first $700,000 plus $31,250.00

$1 million to $1.5 million - ..............................................8% over the first 1 million plus $52,250.00

Over $1.5 million - ...................................................10% over the first $1,500,000 plus $92,250.00

Class B:           Brother, Sister, Niece, Nephew, Daughter-In-Law, Son-In-Law

First $500 is exempt from tax.  The estate over the first $500 is taxed at the following rate:

$100,000 or less - ....................................................................................7% of net taxable value

$100,000 to $500,000 - .....................................................$7,000 plus 10% over the first $100,000

$500,000 to $1 million - ...................................................$47,000 plus 12% over the first $500,000

Over $1 million - ...............................................................$107,000 plus 15% over the first million

Class C:           No blood relation, Cousin, Aunt, Uncle, Step-children, Brother-In-Law, Sister-In-Law.

The first $100 is exempt.  Estates over the first $100 are taxed at the following rate:

$100,000 or less - ..................................................................................10% of net taxable value

$100,000 to $1 million - ...................................................$10,000 plus 15% over the first $100,000

Over $1 million - ...............................................................$145,000 plus 20% over the first million

   
 

5.  EXCISE TAX ADMINISTRATION

This minor task characterizes the type of duties performed on a daily basis in the County Assessor’s office.  It requires detailed knowledge of every taxing district in the county down to street address level.  The Assessor is required to verify the taxing district chosen by the Bureau of Motor Vehicles employee, making certain to note whether the district is inside or outside of any city limits.  Once completed, it is turned over to the county auditor to totaling.  This function could be entirely computerized, but cooperation with the State Bureau of Motor Vehicles is lacking.  The Bureau even charges governmental entities $500 for this report in electronic format.  This is a classic case of intra-government non-cooperation.

Various other reports are required by stature to be sent to the Department of Local Government Finance.  These reports generally require compilation of figures provided by the township assessor and re routine in nature.  There are no problems associated with these reports, but it is conceivable that some have outlived their usefulness and should be reviewed.

   
 

6.  SALES DISCLOSURES 

The County Assessor is responsible for compiling sales disclosure information to be available for review by the public as well as the Department of Local Government Finance.  Each sales disclosure is verified by the Real Estate Reassessment Department and then scanned into a database for use as necessary.  One such use is to help establish fair market value for assessment purposes.



Located:
1 W. Washington St.
Room 11 
 Greencastle, IN  46135
765.653.4312