VALPARAISO | The Porter County Commissioners signed off Tuesday on a plan to pay up to $25,000 for a private appraisal of the new Porter Regional Hospital in response to continued tax assessment appeals by the health care provider.
The county is hiring Hospital Appraisal Services of Overland Park, Kan., said Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder.
The commissioners agreed to pick up half the tab, with the balance being paid by the county auditor from the money collected from the crackdown on homestead deduction violations, he said.
The private help is needed in part because of the difficulty in appraising a facility like a hospital, Snyder said. The results will leave the county in a better position to respond to another tax assessment appeal by the hospital.
The hospital has appealed the past few years, and Snyder said it is his understanding a new appeal likely will be filed soon for the recently completed assessment.
Hospital officials did not respond Thursday to a request for comment on the appraisal or the potential for a new appeal.
A reassessment of Porter hospital's facilities, which was triggered by an appeal, resulted last year in a $1.3 million refund.
The county granted the hospital a 10-year, $12.4 million tax abatement in 2009. The property taxes from the facility will be slowly phased in over that designated period of time.