"Residents have 45 days after receiving their property tax duplicate (statement) to file a formal appeal," Clay County Assessor Mark Barnhart told The Brazil Times. "However the time period to file an appeal from the 2008 pay 09 tax year has already passed."
Barnhart said his office received about 30-35 appeals this year, but only 10-12 became formal appeals.
"The first thing we do is have an informal meeting with the resident to discuss what they feel is incorrect on their assessment or property card," he said. "If there seems to be an inconsistency with the measurements of the property and structures, we can go out and re-measure. More times than not, we come to a satisfactory resolution through the informal meeting."
However, if the resident still feels like something is askew after the meeting, they can file a petition for a formal appeal to go before the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA).
In the petition, which may be picked up at the Assessor's Office or downloaded online, residents may contend how much they feel the property should have been assessed at, in comparison to the one on file, and are not required to conduct an appraisal of the property to initiate a review.
The basis for filing the petition may come either from disputed information on the property card, or Form 11-R, which the county no longer sends out with the tax duplicates.
"We stopped sending the 11-R because duplicate appeals were being filed," Barnhart told The Brazil Times. "We will send a few out, but only if there is major construction on a property that is new, like a house."
While the Form 11-R is not sent out, residents may request a copy of it or the property card from the Assessor's Office at any time during normal business hours.
"We have no problem providing information about their assessment if they request it," Barnhart said. "In all honesty, the property card has more information on it than the 11-R, including a summary of property improvements and a breakdown of square footage for all structures."
Should the PTABOA not resolve the assessment dispute to the resident's liking, it can be appealed once more to the Indiana Bureau of Tax Review.
"They have the last say on any tax assessment appeal," Barnhart said. "Whatever the Bureau of Tax Review declares, the decision is final."
Barnhart added representatives from Tyler Technologies/CLT Division, Dayton, Ohio, are still in the county going from township to township updating assessment information, which has to be completed by 2011.
"This year, they are working on Van Buren, Dick Johnson, Sugar Ridge and Cass townships," he said. "Next year, they are set to review properties in Perry, Washington and Harrison townships to complete this round of assessments."
Barnhart added assessing properties is an ongoing process and they could begin a new round of reviews as soon as late 2010.
"We caught a lot of mistakes this time that were made during trending," he said. "The next round may be more of a spot check, but we still have to look at each parcel individually to make sure everything remains accurate."
For more information about assessments, or to request a copy of your property card, contact the Clay County Assessor's Office at 448-9013.