Porter County assessor whittles down overdue assessment list

2011-01-28T00:00:00Z Porter County assessor whittles down overdue assessment listBy Bob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
January 28, 2011 12:00 am  • 

VALPARAISO | Jon Snyder, Porter County's newly elected Republican assessor, said he is left with just 41 properties to deal with after whittling down a recently discovered list of nearly 300 commercial projects that were never assessed or added to the tax rolls.

Snyder said he removed the more minor projects and tax-exempt properties from the original list to focus on new buildings and larger improvements that will generate the largest share of tax money.

An employee from his office already is at work on the overdue assessments, which Snyder intends to complete in time to be included on 2012 property tax bills.

Snyder said it will be up to Porter County Treasurer Mike Bucko to determine how and when the taxes are to be paid.

Affected taxpayers will have the opportunity to appeal the new assessments, said Mary Jane Michalak, chief of staff and director of communications at the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.

The original list of properties never assessed, which Snyder inherited from former Democratic Assessor John Scott, includes three new buildings from 2008, four new buildings from 2009 and 13 new buildings from 2010.

The balance of the list, which is dominated by properties in Center and Westchester townships, is improvement projects at commercial buildings or buildings that are exempt from taxes, such as the new YMCA in Valparaiso.

Scott, who could not explain much of the oversight Wednesday, said his office had hired a private contractor to carry out the commercial assessments. He was unsure if the permits in question had been passed along to the firm.

Snyder said in a news release issued Thursday that the contractor in question could not get access to the information needed to complete the work during Scott's tenure. The firm now will be finishing the job.

This additional work comes as Snyder already is striving to dig the county out from under 7,048 assessment appeals and catch up with the data entry portion of the current general assessment work.

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