CROWN POINT | The wait is over for new homeowners seeking homestead and mortgage deductions, Lake County Auditor Peggy Katona said.
The public can apply for both tax credits online through the county government website at www.lakecountyin.org.
Previously, the public could only line up outside her office and wait for her staff to provide the applications and stick around while her staff processed them in turn.
Katona said new owners now can go on the county government online portal, click the "File Property Tax Exemptions" link on the task bar on the left side of the page and file their applications for the cost of a $5.50 convenience fee.
She said homeowners also can print out the forms and mail them to the auditor's office at 2292 N. Main Street, Crown Point, IN. 46307. They will receive confirmation emails when applications are approved or denied.
A short video on the webpage provides instructions on how to apply.
Katona said the public can still come in person and have the auditor's staff serve them as before.
Homestead and mortgage deductions reduce a property's assessed value and cap the owner's taxes at no more than 1 percent of that reduced assessed value, although in some Lake County communities the cost of servicing government debt still raises the tax cap above the 1 percent level.
Individuals and married couples are limited, by state law, to one homestead standard deduction. Second or seasonal homes and rental properties cannot receive the credit.