Coronavirus Relief Funds approved
Porter County has been awarded its first round of funding, totaling $121,546, through the state's Coronavirus Relief Fund, established through the Cares Act passed by Congress. These federal funds will reimburse the county's costs for the prevention, treatment and response to the COVID-19 public health emergency. To see the full list of Cares Act reimbursements to counties and municipalities throughout Indiana, visit the Coronavirus Relief Fund site at www.in.gov/ifa, or click here: Cares Act Disbursements.
Below is a summary of the county's COVID expenditures that have been reimbursed, broken down by county department. (Note: We will update this list as additional reimbursements are approved).
Tax Levies and Tax Cap Estimates
Per state statute, the Porter County Council, at its first meeting in August, reviewed estimated property tax levy and tax cap data that will apply to tax bills in 2021. As we have done in previous years, the Porter County Auditor's Office compiled a report for the council containing the state's levy and tax cap estimates for Porter County's taxing units. The report shows that, generally, maximum tax levies are expected to increase in 2021, while revenue losses due to the state's Circuit Breaker tax caps are expected to decline. To see our report, click here: Max Levy and Tax Cap Report.
Summer tax distribution completed
The Porter County Auditor’s office recently completed a special property tax distribution. Porter County's schools, municipalities, and other taxing units received nearly $14.8 million in the "advance" tax draw.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the state this year gave taxpayers more time to pay their spring tax installment without incurring a penalty. The revenue that was distributed in the advance draw represents the property taxes that were paid after the regular May 10 deadline and on or before July 10, the last day to pay without a penalty. Our office distributed more than $130 million in property taxes, excise taxes, fees, and assessments in the regular June distribution. The summer distribution now brings the taxing units back on track with the full amount of property taxes they normally would have received from the spring installment of tax bills.
To view the distribution reports for Porter County taxing units (known as the Form 22), visit the "Settlement Reports" page on the Budget & Finance tab. You can also get there by clicking here.
Budget austerity measures now in place
The Porter County Council and Porter County Commissioners have jointly adopted a financial resolution in anticipation of potentially negative budgetary impacts due to the coronavirus. The resolution, adopted by the Council on May 26 and adopted by the Commissioners on June 9, calls for several austerity measures, including the following:
- Department heads must seek Council or Commissioner approval before moving forward with filling vacancies;
- Department heads must seek advance approval before authorizing any overtime or compensatory time for employees;
- Department heads seeking an additional appropriation from the general fund must first seek approval to get on the council agenda;
- The Porter County Auditor will utilize inter-fund borrowing to resolve departmental cash flow problems.
Tax rates 2020
The table below shows this year’s property tax rates with a comparison to the 2019 rates.
|Taxing District||2019 Tax Rate||2020 Tax Rate|
|Pine Township--Michigan City Schools||1.4408||1.4638|
|Pine Township--Duneland Schools||1.6321||1.6588|
|Portage city--Portage Township||2.8265||2.8146|
|Portage city--Westchester Township||2.9178||2.9407|
|Porter Township--West Porter Fire||1.5892||1.5972|
|Valparaiso--Center Township MTE||2.0436||2.0409|
To view the adopted budgets for Porter County government, see the "Budgets & Finance" tab or click here.
New Deed Transfer Fee Now in Effect
A number of new state laws affecting county auditor offices took effect July 1. One of these is a deed transfer fee increase to $10 per parcel. Under H.E.A. 1427, county auditors are now required to collect the higher fee for real property conveyances, with the fee revenue used for developing and maintaining plat books. We began implementing this new fee on July 1, in accordance with state statute.
County budget hearings: Sept. 15, Sept. 17, Sept. 22, Sept. 24, Sept. 29, Oct. 1, Oct. 12, Oct. 15. All sessions to begin at 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 22: Porter County Government Charitable Nonprofit Foundation, 4:30 p.m.; County Council, 5:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Sept. 29: Porter County Commissioners, 10 a.m.
Find us on Facebook: Porter County Auditor’s Facebook page .