VALPARAISO | Porter Regional Hospital has been assessed at $244.5 million in the first appraisal done since the healthcare provider opened its doors in August 2012 at the northwest corner of Ind. 49 and U.S. 6.
The assessment of the land and two buildings at the site was released just more than two months after the county forced the hospital through a lawsuit to turn over the documents said to be necessary for the calculations.
Hospital officials have not yet responded to a request for comment.
Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder said Tuesday he was satisfied by the assessment he had carried out by a private appraiser with experience in valuing hospitals nationwide.
"This is what the hospital said all along their value would be," he said.
The assessment of the land at $1.7 million is down from the $4.78 million during the previous period when the hospital was 90 percent compete and unopened, according to the assessment notice. The building value rose from $29.4 million to $242.8 million during the same period.
That earlier assessment is under appeal by the hospital.
While assessments on land and buildings are typically used to determine property tax obligations, the Porter Council granted a 10-year tax abatement to the hospital in 2009. Concern was voiced by the group recently that an an attempt would be made to increase the tax breaks by putting off the start until the assessment was larger.
Porter County Auditor Bob Wichlinski said Tuesday afternoon he found the assessment encouraging.
"We finally have a reasonable value upon which to proceed with a process that has been frustrated for better than a year," he said. "We can now accurately calculate not only the taxes due, but the value of the abatement."
The appraisal adds up to 350 pages and was calculated using the cost of construction, net income and comparison of sales of similar facilities around the country, Snyder said.
Hospital officials have 45 days from Monday to decide whether to appeal the assessment.