Recently, The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) approved the budget orders and tax rates for Clay County.
"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 in a press release. "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."
With the DLGF certification of tax rates and budgets for each of the county's 20 taxing units, Clay County became the 58th of the state's 92 counties to receive a 2011 Budget Order.
The Auditor's Office still has to prepare the county abstract, which must be approved by the State Auditor's Office before information may be transferred to the Clay County Treasurer's Office for property tax bills and comparison statements to be prepared and mailed no later than April 25.
Overall, 16 of the 20 taxing units saw an increase in tax rates for this property tax year compared to last year.
Harmony had its rate increase the most, going from 1.9713 per $100 of a property's assessed value to 2.1316 this year, a jump of 0.1603 -- or slightly more than 16 cents per $100 of assessed value.
"That may have something to do with their need to increase the rate on the Storm Sewer Bond to bring in enough funding to meet their necessary levy," Clay County Auditor Mary Jo Alumbaugh told The Brazil Times.
According to budget orders approved by the DLGF, the rate on the bond in 2009 was approved at 0.1020, which allowed for a maximum collectable levy of $11,037. However, this rate was decreased to 0.0511 in 2010, which only allowed for a levy of $5,493 on the bond. For 2011, in order to catch back up, the rate was approved at 0.1658, allowing for a maximum levy of $17,801 to be collected.
Other significant rate increases came in Clay City (0.0681), Knightsville (0.0533) and Center Point (0.0441), while all other increases ranged between 0.0027 (Staunton) and 0.0161 (Lewis Township).
However, four taxing units saw their rates decrease from the 2010 figures.
Cass Township had the smallest decrease (-0.0065) while Brazil City -- Jackson Township (-0.0267), Brazil City -- Posey Township (-0.0267) and Brazil City -- Brazil Township (-0.0266) had the largest.
"The decreases in the Brazil City taxing units probably went down due to the increased assessed value from when they did their annexation," Alumbaugh said.
For the 2010 pay 11 tax year, Brazil City -- Brazil Township has the highest tax rate at 2.8480, while Washington Township has the lowest rate at 1.5185.
Alumbaugh added taxpayers should also remember that while the Homestead Standard Deduction and Supplemental Deduction are still in place, the Homestead Credit has been eliminated.
She also told The Brazil Times that with the all the rates being below 3 percent, Clay County should feel a minimal effect from the property tax caps.
"There will probably be a small tax cap hit from non-homestead residential properties in areas where the rate is above 2 percent," Alumbaugh said. "However, the effect should be pretty limited."
For those interested in getting a first look at what their property taxes could be before receiving their bill, the DLGF has an online property tax calculator at www.in.gov/dlgf/4932.htm. This online tool provides only an estimate and should not be viewed as a statement of true tax liability. Those utilizing the calculator will need to know their property's assessed value, deductions and taxing district to obtain a better projection.
To view a copy of the certified 2010 budget order for Clay County, visit www.in.gov/dlgf/2612.htm. County budgets dating back to 2007 may also be viewed at this site.
The following graphic compares the Certified Gross Property Tax rates for each taxing districts in Clay County for 2010 and 2011, along with the difference:
|District||2010 rate||2011 rate||Change|
|Brazil City -- Brazil Twp.||2.8746||2.8480||(-0.0266)|
|Dick Johnson Township||1.5778||1.5914||0.0136|
|Brazil City -- Jackson Twp.||2.8249||2.7982||(-0.0267)|
|Brazil City -- Posey Twp.||2.8475||2.8208||(-0.0267)|
|Sugar Ridge Township||1.5268||1.5338||0.0070|
|Van Buren Township||1.5784||1.5915||0.0131|
Note: All rates represent the dollar amount per $100 of assessed property value.