Porter hospital appeals first full tax assessment

2013-11-18T14:30:00Z 2014-02-24T12:43:16Z Porter hospital appeals first full tax assessmentBob Kasarda bob.kasarda@nwi.com, (219) 548-4345 nwitimes.com
November 18, 2013 2:30 pm  • 

VALPARAISO | Porter Regional Hospital has appealed the first full tax assessment of its new facility at the northwest corner of Ind. 49 and U.S. 6.

The hospital claims the property, which was assessed by the county at $244.5 million, should actually be $39.3 million.

The hospital agrees with the $1.7 million value placed by the county on the land, but believes the buildings should be reduced from $242.8 million to $37.6 million.

The appeal claims the county's assessment exceeds the true value as defined by law, is not uniform with assessments of similar properties and is not based on guiding definitions, rules, procedures and instructions.

A hospital spokesperson did not return a telephone call Monday seeking comment.

Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder was attending an unrelated daylong tax hearing and was unavailable for comment.

The assessment of the land and buildings was released in October, about two months after the county forced the hospital through a lawsuit to turn over the documents said to be necessary for the calculations.

An earlier assessment of the uncompleted hospital property is also under appeal.

A $225 million price tag for the new facility had been tossed around from when the county agreed to sell its hospital in 2007 to when it granted a 10-year tax abatement in 2009 and the site was opened in August 2012.

While assessments on land and buildings are typically used to determine property tax obligations, the first full assessment has been of interest in the debate over when to start the tax abatement. A later start would translate into a larger savings for the hospital because it would begin when the assessment is larger.

Porter County Auditor Bob Wichlinski announced recently he intends to end the debate by applying the tax breaks on next year's bill unless otherwise instructed by the County Council.

Wichlinski said the timing makes the most sense because it reflects the first full assessment.

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