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Tax Abatement Workshop scheduled for May 20

 The Porter County Auditor's Office will host a tax abatement workshop as a follow-up to the one we held in April. The upcoming workshop will be on Friday, May 20 from 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. in Room 102-A of the County Administration Center, Valparaiso. Guest speaker will be Steve McKinney of the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance. Come hear about the tax abatement process, important deadlines, and more!

Money Smart Week Student Art on Display

  As a partner in Money Smart Week®, the Porter County Auditor's Office sponsored an art contest, inviting students to submit a drawing with a message about saving money. The "Saving Money" art entries will be on display through May 6 in the County Administration Building, Valparaiso. Money Smart Week is a national event designed to help people of all ages better understand personal finances.

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County, municipalities receive special distribution

  The Porter County Auditor's Office has disbursed more than $4.2 million to the county, cities, and towns as part of a special distribution of income tax revenues. The distribution was made possible by new state legislation affecting counties with positive balances in their income tax trust accounts. Per SEA 67, at least 75% of the revenues must be used for roads or other infrastructure projects. The special distribution breaks down as follows (figures are rounded):

County: $1,775,184
Portage: $954,582
Valparaiso: $822,442
Chesterton: $338,723
Porter: $125,919
Hebron: $96,526
Kouts: $48,704
Burns Harbor: $29,964
Ogden Dunes: $28,771
Pines: $18,351
Beverly Shores: $15,889
Dune Acres: $4,717

Did your tax bill go up?

   Many taxpayers have found that their property taxes went down this year, while others have seen an increase. Here are some reasons why some tax bills increased this year:
  • Did your assessed value increase? You can find your AV by looking at the comparison statement that comes with your bill.
  • Are you in the Valparaiso School Corporation? If so, you are paying the new school referendum tax rates, which total 44.29 cents.
  • Are you in unincorporated Porter County? If so, you are paying the new stormwater fee, which replaced the previous drainage assessment you may have been paying.This fee is added to tax bills as an other assessment. (Note: Some conservancy districts in unincorporated Porter County are exempt from the fee.)
  • Did your property change use? If so, your tax cap classification may have changed, or you may have lost a deduction.

Attention businesses: New filing rule for personal property taxes

  Businesses and farms exempt from personal property taxes next year should make sure to comply with new state filing requirements -- or else face a penalty.
  Under state legislation adopted last year, taxpayers with up to $20,000 in total personal property acquisition costs in each county will be exempt from personal property taxes, for taxes payable in 2017.
   Under revised legislation, affected taxpayers are to declare the exemption on a personal property tax return filed by the May 15 deadline. However, for 2016 only, taxpayers may declare the exemption either through a personal property tax return or by filing a notarized certification with the assessor's office. Failure to file by the deadline will require the County Auditor's office to apply a $25 penalty on the next tax installment. For more information on the new personal property exemption rules, including the revision made in the 2016 Indiana Legislature, see this Indiana Department of Local Government Finance memo.

Valparaiso School referendum fact sheet available

  On property tax bills this year, taxpayers in the Valparaiso School Corporation will see the new referendum tax rates that voters approved last year. Four school corporations in Porter County now have voter-approved referendum rates.
  The Porter County Auditor's Office has prepared a fact sheet to give taxpayers a guide on how the referendum rates could affect tax bills. To view the fact sheet, click here:

Homestead program nets $246,500 for County General Fund

  The Porter County Auditor's homestead compliance program in 2015 has resulted in deposits of more than $246,500 for the county's general fund. The money comes from taxes paid by taxpayers who improperly received the homestead deductions. State law allows county auditors to collect up to three years of ineligible homestead taxes and penalties and to deposit a portion of the money collected in the general fund. (To read more, see "Homestead compliance program nets revenue for Porter County.")

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In photo: Porter County Auditor Vicki Urbanik presents a check
to Porter County Council President Dan Whitten and 
Vice-President Karen Conover representing homestead
tax money returned to the county general fund.


 Economic Indicator: Unemployment

  After an uptick in February, Northwest Indiana's unemployment rates held steady in March, the latest month for which statistics are available. The March unemployment rate in Porter County was 6.6%, the same as in February. In Lake and LaPorte counties, the unemployment rates were 7.8% and 7.7%, respectively.

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Upcoming Events

Tuesday, May 17: Porter County Commissioner meeting, 1 p.m.
Friday, May 20: "Porter County Means Business: Tax Abatements from A to Z," 9 a.m., Room 102-A.
Tuesday, May 24: Porter County Council meeting, 5:30 p.m.

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.