February 05, 2023

June 15 deadline to appeal property tax assessments

Q&A: Katrina Hall

INDIANAPOLIS — For those who have discrepancies, the deadline to contest property tax assessments is June 15.

“Most counties mailed out Form 11 notice of assessments to landowners in May,” said Katrina Hall, senior director of policy strategy and advocacy at Indiana Farm Bureau.

Farmers may notice a substantial increase on their notices compared to last year.

“We’ve been telling our members that even if they think the change is reasonable, you should research your parcels to make sure the county assessor used accurate data about the characteristics and features of your property to calculate your assessed value,” Hall said.

She shared more details with AgriNews.

Q: What do farmers need to know about the assessment?

A: No. 1, they should not ignore the Form 11. Make sure they open the envelope and take a look. It’s going to show them, for each parcel, how much land values and structure numbers increased.

It’s a trigger to investigate their assessment more. The second thing on that notice is the contact information for the county assessor.

Q: Where are these changes coming from?

A: There’s two ways for them to get an understanding of how and why the changes in their assessments occurred. One is by talking to their county assessor’s office. But also investigating their property record card, which they can find on most county assessor websites.

Most have a link so that you can look at individual parcels and see what characteristics have been used to calculate their assessments.

That base value of farmland, regardless of whether it’s poor soil or the best that we have — those values will increase from the base value of $1,290 to $1,500 going into next year. That’s about a 16.28% increase.

If your farmland has gone up more than that, you do need to do a deeper dive with the assessor to see if they’ve changed any of those other designations. Those might include frequent flooding, wooded areas, or other things that are a deviation from an average acre of land’s productivity to raise corn.

Q: What else should farmers check out?

A: I would also take a detailed look at the values of structures. What has happened with the valuation of farm bins, over the past several years, we’ve had farmers see inconsistencies from one county to the next.

Those may still exist. But we worked hard on legislation to try and get that in line.

Q: In a nutshell, what’s the take-home message?

A: This is your notice to check out your Form 11. It’s up to individuals to take that opportunity to investigate their assessments and decide if they want to file an appeal. The appeal form is available on our website.

Q: How do you file an appeal?

A: File a Form 130 Taxpayer’s Notice to Initiate an Appeal — State Form 53958 — for each parcel. The form can be found at tinyurl.com/29nnh8y7.

Q: What happens after you file an appeal?

A: Once you file a formal appeal, the assessor is required to hold an informal hearing with you where you can go back and forth about the various things you noticed that you don’t agree with.

You might be able to settle and get those adjusted. But if you can’t come to an agreement, you can carry that appeal forward before a local board.

We hope that most everyone would be able to get their appeals settled in the informal hearing process.

Erica Quinlan

Erica Quinlan

Field Editor