VALPARAISO | Most Porter County taxpayers are unlikely to notice much of a difference in their residential property assessments when notices are mailed out during the first week of October.
Among the exceptions are higher-end properties, which have taken a bigger hit in values than more affordable homes, said Tim Jorczak, director of commercial operations at the Porter County assessor's office.
This trend is likely the reason Ogden Dunes experienced the largest overall drop in assessed values, Assessor Jon Snyder said.
Portage also experienced a downward trend, with the biggest drop among homes valued between $125,000 and $175,000, according to figures provided by Snyder.
Slight upward trends are found among condominiums in Center Township, homes valued at less than $275,000 in Liberty Township, and much of Union, Boone and Pine townships.
The trends are based on residential property sales during 2009, 2010 and the first part of this year, Snyder said.
The county's overall real property assessment shrank by just more than 1 percent, he said.
Figures were not available for area commercial properties, but Snyder said he is hearing the assessments are down elsewhere around the state.
Among the reasons statewide that the rocky real estate market has not had more of an effect on residential assessments is that while parcels are taking longer to sell, they generally are selling for pretty close to their assessed values, said Amanda Stanley, assistant director of communications at the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance.
Snyder said individual parcels likely will see increases in value if improvements have taken place, such as an addition or the installation of a pool, shed or barn.
Assessor's office workers are in the process of visiting each property in the county looking for any changes as part of the general reassessment, he said. While the general reassessment will not affect tax bills until 2013, the effect of some of the parcel improvements that have been discovered already could begin showing up as part of this year's assessments.
Anyone who disagrees with the upcoming assessments will have 45 days from the date of the notice to contact the assessor's office to either discuss a potential change or file an appeal, Snyder said. He intends to offer an online appeal process for the first time this year.