Yesterday’s Indianapolis Star featured a column by Marion County Assessor Greg Bowes articulating the fundamental problems plaguing Indiana’s township assessments. Here are some highlights, but please take the time to read the entire piece as it is quite illuminating:
I was elected county assessor, and began my first term on Jan. 1, 2007. I did not receive the assessments from the townships until after Jan. 31, 2007, more than seven months late. When I did receive them, not one of the nine township assessors had done the assessments correctly. In fact, the governor ordered reassessment in part because the township assessors made no changes in more than 70 percent of the commercial properties in Marion County, and this after a four-year period where no revisions were mandated.
When the reassessment was completed, an additional 30 percent in commercial value was identified, and massive changes were made in the residential properties in at least two of the nine townships. The reassessment injected a third bill into our tax year, and delayed the normal cycle by eight months. No wonder the mortgage companies are confused …
On the Nov. 4 ballot is a public question we must all consider seriously. It will read: "Should the assessing duties of the elected township assessor in the township be transferred to the county assessor?" If taxpayers want their assessments done correctly and on time, they should vote "yes."