(Lawrenceburg, Ind.) – It may not be welcome news, but tax bills should be in the mail on-time for Dearborn County property owners.
The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance certified the county’s 2011 budget order and tax rates last Friday, Jan. 21.
It is the second straight year Dearborn County tax bills will be delivered in time to be due on May 10. The couple prior years had been subject to holdups due to reassessments and other issues.
"The certification of the budget order and tax rates sets the stage nicely for on-time tax bills for the second consecutive year, returning predictability to the property tax system," DLGF Commissioner Brian Bailey said. "A tremendous amount of cooperation and collaboration between local and state officials is required to ensure property tax bills go out on time, and it is rewarding to see all the efforts pay off."
According to the DLGF, the first step in the assessment to tax billing process is the completion of the property assessments, which culminates with the submission of a ratio study. A ratio study is a comparison between property sales prices and assessed values in the county to ensure that market values are being used to determine assessed values. Typically, these should be submitted to the state and approved by May 31, the year prior to tax billing.
Dearborn County's ratio study was submitted on May 27, 2010.
Once the DLGF approves the ratio study, the assessor sends the gross assessed values to the county auditor, who applies exemptions, deductions or abatements to determine the net assessed values - the values upon which tax rates are based. That information was statutorily due to the DLGF by August 2, 2010.
Dearborn County's certified net assessed values were submitted on September 3, 2010.
Now that the 2011 budget has been certified by the DLGF, the next steps are handled at the county level. The county auditor is to calculate tax bills, which should then be mailed by the county treasurer no later than April 25, 2011.
Taxpayers interested in estimating their property tax bill may do so using the DLGF's online property tax calculator at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/4932.htm. Taxpayers will need their property's assessed value, deductions, and taxing district to use the tool. The estimates provided are projections only and should not be taken as a statement of true tax liability, which is determined by the county.
A copy of the Dearborn County budget is available at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/2608.htm.