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Glossary

Assessor

Assessors value property for property tax purposes. Indiana has both county and township assessors. The county assessor is an elected position established by state statute. He or she serves as the secretary of the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals, which hears appeals of property assessments. The county assessor advises township assessors and township trustee-assessors in their duties, though many would agree that this part of the county assessor's job is ill-defined. Townships with more than 8,000 people have elected township assessors. Those with 5,000 to 8,000 have the option to create a township assessor position. In townships with less than 5,000 people the township trustee performs assessing duties. Assessors at the township level collect information on the characteristics of real property. Some townships also set assessed values of property based on these characteristics, but in most counties the county assessor performs this "pricing" function.

Assessed Value

An amount equal to 100% of the true tax value of property.

Use Value Assessment

The value a specific property has for a specific use.

Personal Property

Indiana taxes all personal property owned by a business and certain items of personal property owned by individuals. Personal property is self-assessed by the taxpayer. The deadline for filing personal property is May 15 of each year. An extension may be granted by the township assessor to June 14th. A written request must be mailed to each township assessor before the May 15th deadline to ask for an extension.
Some personal property forms can be downloaded from this site.

Property Tax Deductions and Exemptions

Deductions and exemptions reduce the assessed value of property upon which property taxes must be paid. Exemptions include whole categories of property which are not taxed. Exempt property includes property owned by government, and certain not-for-profit corporations, property used for educational, scientific, literary, religious or charitable purposes, and many others. Deductions are dollar amounts that may be subtracted from the asssessed value of otherwise taxable property, if the owner and property qualify. Other exemptions (i.e. mortgage exemptions, age exemptions, veterans exemptions, and homestead exemptions) are filed in the Auditor's Office.

Property Tax Rate

The property tax rate measures the share of a taxpayer's assessed value which must be paid in property taxes each year. It is measured in dollars per $100 assessed value, so it is equivalent to a percentage.

Property Tax Replacement Credits

State property tax replacement credits (PTRC or SPTRC) are revenues paid by the state government to local governments each year to reduce property taxes. They were created in 1973 and first paid in 1974. In 1974 an increase in the state sales tax from 2% to 4% generated the state revenue to fund the PTRC. In 1998 the state PTRC payment totaled $716 million, which reduced property taxes statewide by about 14%.

Real Property

Real property is land and structures. The assessed value of real property composes about three-quarters of the Indiana property tax base. Real property includes agricultural land and non-agricultural land, houses, commercial and factory buildings, and so forth.. In between statewide reassessments real property is reassessed only when there is a change in land use or new construction. Structures are often referred to as improvements

Reassessment

The process of updating the assessed values of real property for property tax purposes, to account for changing sales prices or construction costs. In Indiana, reassessments are done periodically on a statewide basis.