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Porter County Administration Center

Porter County Administration Center is shown during a summer sunset.

The battle over a property tax exemption for the Misty Glen apartment complex in Hebron is being taken to the Indiana Tax Court.

Misty Glen’s owner, Community Vision, is appealing local and state rules rescinding tax-exempt status for the affordable housing complex.

Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder said he has reached out to the Porter County Board of Commissioners to obtain legal counsel for the appeal. Snyder is also asking the Indiana attorney general’s office if it will pick up this case on behalf of the taxpayers, he said.

The Indiana Board of Tax Review in May upheld the Porter County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals’ 2015 decision to rescind tax-exempt status for the five-building, 80-unit apartment complex at 99 Misty Lane.

That’s in contrast to the state board’s 2012 ruling that said the property was tax-exempt, said Indianapolis attorney Michael Red, who represents Community Vision, parent of Hebron Vision LLC, which operates the complex.

Community Vision is appealing the state board’s May ruling to the Indiana Tax Court, which has never ruled on this property, Red said.

“The owner is a 501(c)3 public charity,” Red said.

“The ownership, use and occupation of the property never changed,” he said.

In May, the state tax board noted Misty Glen’s owner requires tenants to have adequate credit and prove they haven’t been evicted.

“Clearly, Misty Glen is using shrewd business skills in selecting tenants,” the ruling said. “But this also indicates that Misty Glen is not selecting tenants who are in most need of charitable housing or who have difficulties finding housing due to prior evictions or bad credit.”

“The law is clear that a property has to be used primarily for charitable purposes,” Snyder said. “I don’t know what’s not clear about that.”

Snyder, who is in his eighth year as assessor, said his office has taken three cases to the Indiana Tax Court in that time and hasn’t lost one yet.

Regardless of the outcome of the case, Red said, Misty Glen will continue to offer affordable housing.

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Senior Reporter

Senior reporter Doug Ross, an award-winning writer, has been covering Northwest Indiana for more than 35 years, including more than a quarter of a century at The Times.