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Porter County budget hearings nearing finish

  The Porter County Council will hold another budget hearing on Wednesday, Oct. 11, at 5 p.m. This will be the last scheduled budget session prior to final adoption, which is set for Thursday, Oct. 26.
  In accordance with state law, the Porter County Council has reviewed the estimated tax cap impacts and maximum levies for all taxing units in the county. The Porter County Auditor's office has compiled a report summarizing the tax data prepared by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. To view our report and the Council's recommendation for taxing units, click 
  The Porter County Auditor's office has also compiled a list comparing the requested 2018 budgets with the 2017 adopted budgets. To view the lists, click on the following links:
  General Fund budgets, 2017 and proposed 2018
  Non-General Fund budgets, 2017 and proposed 2018

Certified Net AVs up 2.5%

   The Porter County Auditor’s Office has certified the net assessed values that will be used in the 2018 budgets and property tax bills.
   Countywide, Porter County’s adjusted net assessed value totals $9.49 billion as of the certification date, an increase of about $233 million compared to 2017.
  The certified values show that while the county’s personal property values remain relatively stable, real property assessed values jumped about 3.2%. The certified values also show the following:

  • Most taxing districts saw their net assessed value increase. However, values in 10 taxing districts decreased.
  • The certified assessed value in TIF districts totals $788 million, an increase of about $47 million compared to 2017.
  • The values include a new “municipal tax exempt” taxing district for 2018 due to an annexation by Valparaiso of agricultural property in Center Township.

  With the values now certified, local taxing units can use the data in their 2018 budget process. A chart of how the certified values have changed in the past 10 years is shown below.

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Chart prepared by the Porter County Auditor's Office

Distribution Reports Now Online
  The Porter County Auditor's Office recently completed the spring, 2017 settlement, disbursing more than $132 million in tax revenues. Interested in seeing how much your local school, town, or other government unit received? It's easy!
  We are pleased to announce that the distribution reports -- known as the Form 22s -- are now available on our webpage here (or go to the Budget & Finance tab, then "Settlement Reports.") Here, you can access the Form 22s that our office prepared for the taxing units in Porter County.
 Beginning this year, Form 22s are also available on the state's Gateway site for all counties in Indiana. To access the state's site, click here. As an added convenience to the public and to promote greater transparency, we are also making the Form 22s accessible on our county webpage.

Financial Conversion Successfully Completed
  The Porter County Auditor's Office has recently completed a transition with a new financial and payroll system. This conversion was a significant endeavor, one of the largest projects we have undertaken in the Auditor's Office.
  Some of the enhancements achieved:
--Compliance with the state's department numbering system
--Conversion of sub funds, in an effort to eliminate confusion and provide greater clarity of fund activity
--Streamlined claim processing for greater efficiency for county departments and more time for claim audit (Departments can now complete a claim entry in a matter of minutes, rather than the previous two-day process.) 
--Streamlined budget data entry, which will lead to enhancements in the upload to the state's Gateway site 
  While we continue to make needed adjustments, we are pleased to note that we achieved our goal of bringing county departments onto the new system within a matter of weeks. The vast majority of departments have completed one-on-one training and are now "live" with the new system. 

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County Auditor employees in training on the new system.

"Saving Money" Art Contest Winners

  We are pleased to announce the winners of this year's Porter County Auditor's "Saving Money" art contest, held as part of Money Smart Week®.
  The overall top winner was a team of fifth grade students from Crisman Elementary School in Portage: Kyleigh Robinson, Abigail Smolnicky, and Hayley Wilson. These students designed a dollar bill with a message about saving money for a new art studio that they would like to open.
  The other top winners were Flint Lake Elementary School students Brody Logsdon, fifth grade, and Cloee Castro, fourth grade. Brody designed a dollar bill with a basketball theme and a message about saving money to buy a basketball hoop, while Cloee's design featured cats with a message about saving money to buy art supplies.
  Congratulations, students, and keep up the good work!

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Saving Money art contest winners from Crisman Elementary School are (left to right) students Kyleigh Robinson, Abigail Smolnicky, and Hayley Wilson. They are shown here with their winning design with art teacher Andrew Cox.

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Saving Money art contest winners from Flint Lake Elementary school are Brody Logsdon of fifth grade and Cloee Castro of fourth grade. They are shown here with their dollar bill designs and a message about saving money.

State county auditor conference held 

  The State Board of Accounts County Auditors spring conference was held May 23-26 in Indianapolis. This event included  presentations by the State Board of Accounts, State Auditor's Office, Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, and Indiana Department of Labor.  County auditors and staff members from throughout Indiana heard updates on topics including settlement, new legislation, the upcoming budget process, TIFs, tax abatements, and labor laws.
  Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik, who also serves as an officer with the Indiana Auditor' Association, joined other county auditors on an education panel, speaking on tax abatements and veterans deductions.

Indiana Auditors' Association officers (left to right) Julie Fox of Marshall County, Vicki Urbanik of Porter County, Patty Ball of Daviess County, and Pauline Graff of Elkhart County.

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The Indiana County Auditors conference included a panel discussion on various tax and budget matters. Porter County Auditor Urbanik participated on the panel.

Auditor's Office launches project to assist disabled veterans

  We are very pleased to announce a new initiative in the Porter County Auditor's Office involving the deduction for totally disabled veterans and veterans over 62 with a partial disability. Our research and outreach project has two objectives. First, we want to assist veterans who used to have this deduction, who later were disqualified, and who might now qualify again under the new criteria. Second, we want to identify and reach out to other disabled veterans who never previously qualified for this benefit and to assist them to determine their eligibility. More information is available on our Disabled Veterans Deductions page.

  Check out these media reports about our project: 
  ValpoLife: Auditor's Office Launches Project to Assist Disabled Veterans with Tax Deduction
  Chesterton Tribune: Disabled Vets May Qualify for Property Tax Deduction under Revised State Law
  NW Times: More Disabled Veterans May Qualify for Tax Break

Porter County 2017 tax rates

  Property tax rates declined in nearly all of Porter County's taxing districts, as shown in the table below. 
  As required, the tax rate chart has been published as a legal notice prior to the release of the property tax bills. To view the legal notice, click on the following link: Porter County 2017 Tax Rate Chart.

 Taxing District  2017 Rate  2016 Rate
 Boone Township  2.3939  2.6668
 Hebron  3.0343  3.3090
 Center Township  1.8876  2.0622
 Valparaiso--Center Township  2.8354  3.0323
 Jackson Township  1.5192  1.5423
 Liberty Township  1.5587  1.5806
 Chesterton--Liberty Township  2.3104  2.4702
 Morgan Township  1.4323  1.4960
 Pine Township--Michigan City Schools  1.3636  1.4715
 Pine Township--Duneland Schools  1.5661  1.5908
 Beverly Shores  1.7893  1.9662
 Pines town  1.8100  1.9420
 Pleasant Township  1.5065  1.5693
 Kouts  1.9336  2.0775
 Portage Township  1.7558  1.8386
 Portage city--Portage Township  2.7201  2.7419
 Ogden Dunes  2.0375  2.1320
 Porter Township  1.4493  1.5880
 Union Township  1.5756  1.6071
 Washington Township  1.4665  1.5391
 Westchester Township  1.6462  1.6610
 Portage City--Westchester Township  2.8166  2.8105
 Chesterton--Westchester Township  2.4079  2.5607
 Burns Harbor  1.9428  1.9516
 Dune Acres  1.9641  1.9661
 Porter town  2.6875 2.7264
 Chesterton--Jackson Township  2.2971  2.4563
 Porter Township--West Porter Fire  1.4533  1.5515
 Valparaiso--Washington Township  2.6216  2.7090
 Valparaiso--Morgan Township  2.6140  2.7013

Source: Budget order issued by the DLGF.

Upcoming Events

Oct. 11: County budget hearings, 5 p.m.

Oct. 17-20: State Board of Accounts called conference for Indiana County Auditors, Indianapolis.

Oct. 24: Porter County Council regular meeting, 5 p.m.

Oct. 26: Porter County Council budget adoption, 5 p.m.

Unless otherwise noted, all meetings are in the Commissioners' Chambers main meeting room, County Administration Center, Valparaiso.

Find us on Facebook: Porter County Auditor's Facebook page

The Auditor webpage and the Auditor Facebook page are written and maintained 
by Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik.

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Contact Us
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Vicki Urbanik, CPA, CGFM
Porter County Auditor

155 Indiana Avenue
Suite 204
Valparaiso, IN 46383

Ph: 219-465-3445
Fx: 219-465-3806

Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.