VALPARAISO — The owners of the local nursing home operating under the name of Aperion Care are being called in by the county to defend their tax exemption.
The Porter County Tax Assessment Board of Appeals agreed this week to review the exemption after it was learned the not-for-profit Porter County Council of Church Women Inc. is leasing two buildings to Aperion Care, a for-profit company, said Porter County Assessor Jon Snyder.
The board also received information that the Council of Church Women may no longer even be in business, he said.
Valparaiso-based attorney Ethan Lowe said the Council of Church Women, also known as Whispering Pines, had no comment at this time.
The nursing home is at 3301 N. Calumet Ave., which also is the address listed in county tax records for the Porter County Council of Church Women.
The property involves two two-story buildings at approximately 40,000-square-foot each, according to county tax records. They were last assessed in 2015 at a total of $2,668,000.
There is approximately $70,000 in annual tax revenue at stake, Snyder said.
The review of the property’s tax exemption was triggered in part by the April decision by the tax assessment board of appeals to pull the tax exemptions of the nearby Pines Village Retirement Communities.
The operators of Pines Village have since appealed, challenging the board’s finding that there was insufficient evidence to support the charitable exemption on the 82 lots. The facility received the tax break shortly after incorporating in 1984.
The review is also part of a larger, ongoing effort by Snyder and the tax assessment board to verify tax exemptions for various entities around the county.
The list has so far included a church, a union hall, the retirement community and local chambers of commerce.
Ambulance garages being leased from the county by Porter Regional Hospital also were placed back on the tax rolls a year ago.