From all of us in the Porter County Auditor's Office, have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Providing Porter County taxpayers with professional, courteous, and efficient service in matters involving their property taxes and government funds.
The Porter County Auditor page is intended to highlight the activities of the auditor's office and to share with taxpayers and stakeholders information about their taxes, government budgets and funds, and related topics. The Porter County Auditor's office consists of the Property Tax Division and the Accounting and Budget Division. The Property Tax Division works cooperatively with the County Assessor and County Treasurer in the assessment-to-tax-billing cycle and with the County Recorder in maintaining property records. Our duties include maintaining plat maps and the parcel numbering system, certifying property ownership, and transferring deeds. We also maintain deductions, abatements, and exemptions and apply property tax caps to tax bills. The auditor also annually certifies the net assessed values, a critical component in setting tax rates. The Accounting and Budget Division is the heart and soul of county government finance. We process payroll and benefits for county employees, maintain the financial ledgers, prepare and continually update county budgets and funds, and provide financial reports to county departments. We also prepare the annual financial reports subject to audit and distribute tax revenue to taxing units.
From all of us in the Porter County Auditor's Office, have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Internal Control training: Our thanks to the many county departments that attended our two training sessions last week. Our first session was on internal controls, at which we addressed topics such as fraud risk factors and the importance of having a system of oversight and checks and balances. The second session focused on the process for purchasing and reporting capital assets, which we will include in the county's annual financial report in much greater detail than ever before.
We celebrated a birthday today in the Porter County Auditor's Office. Happy birthday, Judy!
We celebrated a birthday today in the County Auditor's Office. Happy birthday, Mariline!
Honoring all who have served. Thank you, veterans!
We're very pleased to offer two new informational fliers for the public: "Indiana's Property Tax Caps," which gives a general overview of how the caps affect tax bills, and "Attention Seniors and Veterans," which addresses legislative changes affecting deductions in 2021. Both in-house written and printed. As a reminder, the fall installment of property taxes is due Nov. 12!
A significant endeavor is underway in the Porter County Auditor's Office: A transition to financial reporting following generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP). With balance sheets and budgetary comparisons and more, GAAP statements tend to be much more complex and detailed than our current reports. We believe we are up for the challenge! The Porter County Commissioners this week helped us along by updating the county's 15-year-old fixed assets policy and by approving a peer review of our "test" statements, which we compiled to help us prepare for the actual report in 2020. In photo below, our "GAAP team" is shown working on some of the finishing touches to our test statements. Stay tuned, as we will have more updates on our GAAP project in the coming weeks and months!
We celebrated a birthday today in the Porter County Auditor's Office. Happy birthday, Danielle!
From all of us in the Porter County Auditor's office, we hope you are having a safe, fun, and happy Halloween! Here are some scenes from our office today!
We are attending a two-day State Board of Accounts training conference. Today's session included County Treasurers, allowing staff from County Auditor and Treasurer offices to delve into topics including the statutory requirements related to segregation of duties, particularly with receipting and paying claims. Instead of a single fall conference, the SBOA is trying a new format this year by meeting with auditors in four regions of the state. Our regional meeting with auditors from northern Indiana is being held in Plymouth.
2020 Budget Update: Following last week's budget adoption by the Porter County Council, our office this week completed all the required budget forms and submitted to the Department of Local Government Finance, which reviews and certifies all local governmental budgets (as shown in the budget status map). The county's budgets are now available online through the state's Gateway site. Our office also distributed paper copies of each department's budget this week!
Here are some results from Porter County's annual tax sale, held today: The sale resulted in $1.29 million in delinquent taxes, penalties, and costs paid. A total of 405 parcels that had been delinquent are now paid in full, with 72 parcels sold today and remainder paid prior to the sale. The tax sale was coordinated by the offices of the Porter County Auditor and Treasurer and conducted by SRI Inc. of Indianapolis.
Porter County's annual tax sale will be held this Tuesday. Eligible bidders will get a chance to acquire a lien on tax-delinquent parcels, and owners will have one year to redeem the properties. More information can be found in this article and the SRI website: http://chestertontribune.com/Porter%20County/porter_county_tax_sale_scheduled.htm
Porter County will conduct a tax sale on Tuesday, Oct. 22 for delinquent properties that have delinquent taxes and special assessments due from the prior year’s spring installment.
After several weeks of poring over budget requests from county departments, the Porter County Council is set to adopt the 2020 budgets this Thursday. The meeting will follow the council's regular monthly meeting at 5 p.m. Our office is now in the process of compiling all the final figures reflecting a 3 percent employee raise and other adjustments needed to stay within spending limits. Following adoption, we will post the budgets online. Stay tuned!
The salary boost, which will likely win final approval Thursday, came at the end of a 2½-hour meeting Monday with a 6-1 vote that included discussion about upping salaries for the nine county employees making less than $30,000 a year.
We celebrated another birthday today in the Porter County Auditor's Office. Happy birthday, Toni!!
Porter County Clerk Jessica Bailey, Clerk Chief Deputy Kathy Hartwig, and Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik are among more than 550 county officials and employees from throughout Indiana attending the 61st annual conference of the Association of Indiana Counties (AIC) this week in Orange County. Some of the many highlights: An Auditor Association training on cybersecurity and steps to take to safeguard county data; an address by former Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman; and various workshops on topics including jail management, archiving documents, alternative energy, and human resources. It's great to see Porter County represented at this conference!
It's budget time! The Porter County Council's annual budget hearings with county departments will kick off today, with a first reading and public hearing beginning at 5:30 p.m.
We celebrated another birthday today in the Porter County Auditor's Office. Happy birthday, Jenn!
We celebrated a birthday today in the Porter County Auditor's Office. Happy birthday, Brenda!
Our office received this very nice note from the DLGF Commissioner congratulating us for being one of the counties that met the state deadline for certifying the net assessed values, which will be used in setting next year's tax rates. This is a difficult deadline to meet! Our staff did a great job updating deductions, calculating abatements, analyzing TIFs, and completing other necessary tasks within a tight timeframe!
We celebrated a birthday today in the Porter County Auditor's Office. Happy birthday, Marlene!
Today, our office completed one of our most significant annual projects: Certification of the net assessed values that will be used to set next year's property tax rates. This project culminates more than a month of intense work calculating abatements, updating deductions, and preparing the TIF neutralization studies. We're proud that this is the fourth year in a row that we have done the TIF study completely in-house, which has not only saved money but also allows us a deep analysis into TIF assessment changes. Our TIF and CNAV team rocked it this year, meeting the state's nearly impossible August 1 deadline for CNAVs! Way to go, team! (From left to right next to me: Danielle, Toni, Arleen, Tiffany, and Jennifer)
We celebrated another birthday in the Porter County Auditor's Office today. Happy birthday, Vicki!
The Porter County Council has been taking its monthly meetings "on the road" this summer, with July's meeting held at the Porter County Municipal Airport. The August 27 meeting will be at the Dune Acres Clubhouse. Shown in photo below are council members Sylvia Graham, Bob Poparad, president Dan Whitten, and Greg Simms.
The Indiana County Auditors' Association's North Regional meeting was held Wednesday in the newly renovated Porter County Expo Center. We were thrilled to welcome to our county more than 60 auditors, deputies, presenters, and vendors, who participated in the all-day training on financial reporting, 1782 budget notices, deductions and exemptions, the Fair Labor Standards Act and Family Medical Leave Act, and 911 funding. My thanks to Expo Center Executive Director Lori Daly and her staff for their hospitality with this ICAA event!
Tomorrow is an exciting day for us. We will be hosting the Indiana County Auditors' Association's North Regional meeting here in Porter County, at our recently renovated Expo Center! County auditors, staff members, and vendors from throughout the state will attend this day-long educational session. Welcome to Porter County!
CLICK HERE to find information about venue rental and upcoming events at the NEW Porter County Expo!
From all of us in the Porter County Auditor's office, have a safe and happy Fourth of July!
Key budget figure released: Today, the State Budget Agency announced that the 2020 "growth quotient" in Indiana will be 3.5%, a slight increase over this year's 3.4%. A key part of the budget planning process each year, the growth quotient very generally means the increase that local government units can levy in property taxes. Counties, municipalities, and other taxing units will use this figure in planning their revenue projections for next year's budgets.
It's July 1, and that means that a variety of new laws take effect in Indiana. One of these was prompted by H.E.A. 1427. Beginning today, the fee charged by county auditors for real estate conveyances, also known as deed transfer fees, will increase to $10. The money goes into a fund that pays for maintaining plat books.
Delving into Deeds: Today our real estate tax deputies engaged in a training with attorney Adam Mindel on various legal issues concerning deeds. Among other topics, we explored the differences between joint tenants and tenants in common, when and how joint tenancy can be severed, and our office's responsibility when deeds appear to be incomplete. Our goal is to provide the best service possible to the taxpayers by ensuring that deed conveyances are proper and as the taxpayers intended. Training sessions like the one we held today is one way to help achieve that goal!
We celebrated a birthday today in the Porter County Auditor's office! Happy birthday, Tiffany!
It may seem way too early to start planning for the 2020 property tax bills, but that's exactly what our office will do over the coming weeks. Today, we received from the Assessors the real property assessed values that will be on next year's tax bills. Over the next five weeks, our office will calculate abatements, prepare our TIF analysis, and then certify the net AVs that will help determine the 2020 tax rates and tax levies. It is why mid-summer is one of the busiest seasons in a County Auditor's office!
Porter County Council on the Road! In case you haven't heard, the Porter County Council will go "on the road" for its upcoming monthly meetings. The June meeting will be held on June 25 at the Portage Lakefront & Riverwalk Pavilion in Portage, beginning at 5:30 p.m.
We celebrated another birthday today in the County Auditor's Office. Happy birthday, Jennifer!
The Porter County Auditor's Office has completed the spring tax settlement, disbursing more than $118 million in property taxes, excise taxes, and other revenue to local government units. This was one of the earliest spring tax settlements we've had! Kudos to our settlement team, Chief Deputy Toni and Budget Director Tiffany, for their work in getting local units their tax revenue without delay. Interested in seeing how much your school, municipality, library or other taxing unit received? The distribution reports, known as the Form 22s, are now posted on our County Auditor page (www.porterco.org/auditor) as well as on the state's Gateway site (www.gatewayifionline.org).
We are very pleased to announce that the pay for more than 300 poll workers who worked in the May primary has now been processed with this week's county payroll -- the first possible pay date for getting the checks prepared! This endeavor was accomplished through a coordinated effort between the Auditor's and Clerk's offices, which both worked to ensure that poll workers would get paid as expeditiously as possible, despite an abbreviated payroll week and an overhaul of the election pay schedule. In photo below, County Auditor Vicki Urbanik hands over the payroll and meal checks to County Clerk Jessica Bailey. The checks will be in the mail by the end of this week. Thank you, poll workers, for your service! And thank you to the staff members of both offices who worked so hard on this endeavor!
Cities, towns, and county government will share in a total of $776,281 in "supplemental" income tax revenues, which our office distributed today. An equal amount was deposited in the county's homestead credit fund to be returned to homeowners in the form of a credit on their tax bills. The state releases this supplemental distribution to eligible counties each year. This year's total distribution of $1.5 million was considerably higher than last year's total of just over $43,000.
This past week was the Indiana County Auditors Association's spring conference, consisting of four days of training on tax settlement, financial reporting, income taxes, new legislation, and more. Nearly every county was represented at this year's conference, held in French Lick, Ind. To learn more about our association, visit the ICAA website at indianaauditors.org.
To all mothers, grandmothers, great-grandmothers, mothers-in-law, Godmothers, sisters, aunts, and caregivers, the Porter County Auditor's Office wishes you a very joyous Mother's Day!
Just a reminder: The spring installment of property taxes is due today, Friday, May 10. Avoid an automatic, state-required penalty by making sure the Treasurer's Office receives your tax payment today!
It was such a nice honor for our office to once again participate in Valparaiso High School's annual student government day, an event that pairs students with local officials and gives them a close-up look at local government. We were thrilled to host Claire Lee, a VHS senior who will be attending IU-Bloomington in the fall. Claire met our staff, as they worked on deeds, transfers, payroll, taxpayer assistance and more. Good luck, Claire and all other graduating seniors, with all your future endeavors!
With the upcoming May 10 deadline for property tax payments, here is an updated Q&A with some of the most common questions about tax bills.
Q: Why did my tax bill go up?
A: There could be several different reasons. Did your assessed value go up? These values are found in lines 1a, 1b, and 1c on the comparison statement, known as the TS-1A. Did your tax rate increase? This year, tax rates increased in most Porter County taxing districts.
Q: Why did my tax bill go down?
A: There could be several different reasons. Your assessed value and/or your tax rate may have decreased.
Q: What does line 1c mean when it gives the value of "all other property, including personal property?"
A: Lines 1a, 1b, and 1c refer to the different tax cap categories. Homesteads (1a) are in the 1% category, while other residential units and farm land are in the 2% category. All other property is in the 3% category. Let's say you have a home on 5 non-farm acres. Your homestead value is on line 1a, while the remaining acreage is on line 1c.
Q: I qualify for the Over 65 Circuit Breaker, but my tax went up more than 2%. Why?
A: Per state law, this credit is applied only to the homestead portion of your property.
Q: I have only a homestead, so my tax should be capped at 1% of my AV. So why is my tax higher?
A: Do you pay toward a school referendum? The tax caps do not apply to the school referendum taxes. Also, if you have non-homestead property, this value is subject to the 2% or 3% tax cap, not the 1% cap.
Q: What does "special unit" refer to?
A: This is the category for the Porter County Airport.
Q: I recently won an appeal of my assessed value but my tax bill doesn't reflect this change. What should I do?
A: You will receive a "corrected" tax bill. Our office is currently processing changes to the tax bills, most of which deal with assessment appeals.
Q: How do I know if I am getting the homestead deduction?
A: The deductions are shown on the lower right portion of the comparison statement. "Standard Hmst" and "Supplemental HSC" refer to the homestead deduction.
Q: I applied for a deduction this year, but it is not on my tax bill. Why?
A: Per state law, taxpayers must sign and date their application for a tax deduction by Dec. 31 in order for the tax benefit to be applied to the following tax bill. As part of their application, taxpayers must also provide proof that they meet the eligibility requirements for the deduction. If you applied for a deduction this year, and we were able to verify that you qualify, the deduction should appear on your tax bill next year.
Q: On the remittance coupon, what are "other assessments?"
A: These are other charges added to the tax bill, such as the stormwater fee, the recycling and waste reduction fee, sewer liens, or conservancy district assessments.
Q: On the remittance coupon, what is the LIT 1% Rate? On the comparison statement, what are "local property tax credits?"
A: Both of these refer to the county's homestead credit.
Q: I didn't receive a tax bill in the mail. Does this mean I don't have to pay taxes or a penalty?
A: Even if taxpayers do not receive a tax bill in the mail, they are still responsible for on-time payment of their property tax. Please check with our office if you did not get a bill in the mail; we may need to update your mailing address. Penalties are applied automatically pursuant to state law for tax payments after the deadline.
155 Indiana Ave
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