Thousands of Allen County property owners will likely have mixed feelings about their new property assessments that officials recently finalized.
Though assessments were determined for all of the countys 155,000 properties, notices of the assessment were sent only to about half of them – to owners of all commercial properties but only to owners of residential properties that increased in assessed value. Notices were not sent to owners of residential properties with values that either stayed the same or dropped.
The good news for property owners whose values have dropped is that many will very likely pay less in property taxes in 2013. The bad news, of course, is the harsh reality that their homes are not worth as much as they used to be, a reflection of the housing slump that has hit the nation.
Why didnt all property owners receive notice of their new property assessments in the mail? For the very practical reason that relatively few property owners whose assessments were flat or dropped appeal them, said Ryan Keuneke, deputy county assessor, and the county saves $40,000 to $45,000 in mailing costs by not notifying them.
Give credit to Assessor Stacey ODay and her staff for greatly enhancing online information about assessments. One site – www.acimap.us/comps – has links not only to information about individual properties but also sales information on comparable homes in the neighborhood. The site is a bit difficult to maneuver around, but once a computer user learns the various links and features, it contains a wealth of information.
For more than a decade, court rulings and changes in the law have whipsawed property owners, drastically changing how property taxes are determined numerous times. Thankfully, the property tax structure has again become more stable, and many owners will see only minor changes in their property assessments.