CROWN POINT | The newest financial pictures of Lake County property values are in.
The Lake County assessor's office has mailed notice, known as Form 11s, to the owners of more than 248,000 real estate parcels indicating their newest assessments for taxing purposes.
Some properties are worth more, some less and some involve a split decision in which their buildings and the land beneath them go in different monetary directions.
County Assessor Hank Adams said the numbers are the result of a nearly two-year general reassessment.
Elected local officials and a private reassessment firm were given the mission of inspecting, measuring and documenting agricultural, residential and business buildings to ensure the county's property records reflect the accurate square footage of buildings and acreage since the last reassessment eight years ago.
Adams said some owners will see assessment increases on unchanged properties because his office has eliminated reductions — called influence factors — improperly applied in the past.
"(Another assessor) was being good to people who complained a lot and took values down by putting an influence factor on them," Adams said. "That factor is only supposed to be on for one year, but normally it was left on."
Adams said the county has been making annual adjustments, so value swings shouldn't be as large as in the past.
Nevertheless, the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance reported last year residential property values jumped as high as 4.6 percent in Griffith and dropped as low as 6.7 percent in East Chicago. Most communities changed less than 2 percent.
The assessed value is supposed to reflect the price a willing buyer would pay for the property. Owners who feel their new assessments are too high can appeal — but must do so by Feb. 19, Adams said.
Those living in Gary, Griffith and unincorporated Calumet Township can appeal to the Calumet Township assessor's office at 501 E. Fifth Ave., Gary.
Those living south of 101st Avenue in Crown Point, east of Cline Avenue in Cedar Lake and unincorporated Center Township can appeal at the Center Township assessor's office, 213 S. Court St., Crown Point.
Those living in Hobart, Lake Station, New Chicago and unincorporated Hobart Township can appeal to the Hobart Township assessor's office, 1461 S. Lake Park Ave., Hobart.
Those living in Merrillville, north of 101st Avenue in Crown Point and unincorporated Ross Township can appeal at the Ross Township assessor's office, 7870 Broadway, Suite C, Merrillville.
Those living in Dyer, St. John, Schererville and unincorporated St. John Township can appeal at the St. John Township assessor's office, 9157 Wicker Ave., St. John.
All others must appeal at Adam's office 2293 N. Main St., Crown Point.
Adams said taxpayers should bring any evidence of a lower value, including property sale documents dated between 2011 and 2012 or the sale of similar properties with lower assessments.