ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) – Residents of St. Joseph County are spending their Saturday getting answers from the Penn Township assessor after receiving property assessments in the mail last week.
A line of taxpayers told 16 News Now: ‘My land, period, is up over 100%. My land has increased by 300%. My taxes have more than doubled over the past four years. Our land increased by 50% and the total increased by $40,000. »
Penn Township assessor Michael Castellon held a meeting to answer questions about property assessment increases Saturday at Mishawaka Fire Station Four, where dozens of people had to stand outside in due to standing room only. Castellon also heard from residents outside.
“We’re coming out of a really robust market that’s driving up values based on the state’s requirement for fair market value in use. And the mass evaluation of a use as a technique to determine those values,” he explained.
“How can you assess today when everyone with a brain knows that next year the housing market will stagnate?” asked a resident.
“What you get, the Form 11 now, is from last year’s sales. Last year, at the end of the year, property values increased by about 36%. If mortgage rates continue to rise, we would assume the market would come back down, so you should see a change in the market next year. But you’re talking about last year’s sales, and all I can do is respond to that,” Castellon replied.
Castellon pointed to a few factors behind the increases: There hadn’t been a thorough land survey in 20 years, and homebuyers are currently willing to pay significantly more to move in due to a shortage of homes on the market. .
“And that in itself inflates the value of homes. And when you have valid sales that are reported to the State of Indiana, we are required to use that as input to determine market conditions. And that’s how the assessment works,” he said.
Appeal your property assessments
Taxpayers can appeal their property assessments.
“The one thing I really want to emphasize is that the appeals process remains the number one way for a taxpayer to get their grievances answered and their property tax questions answered. It’s also a way to allow the assessor to look at areas that may be an issue that they can’t foresee in the normal assessment process,” Castellon said.
Maxine DeRidder has said she will appeal after her land doubled in value.
“They’ll probably give me a 15% discount, which means it’ll go up to 85% rather than 100%. Better than nothing!” she said.
Assessment calls are due June 15, 2022.
Click on here to access the form (be sure to scroll down to Form 130).
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