Appeal Process for Real Property Assessments
Instances for which a real property owner can file an appeal petition
There are two different instances in which a real property owner can file a petition to have an assessment reviewed. Both instances involve the filing of a Form 130. The instances are:
- A property owner has the right to file an appeal on an assessment within 45 days of the date of a notice that is placing an assessment on the property. The forms used to place an assessment on property are a Notice of Assessment of Land and Structures (Form 11), a Notice of Assessment by Assessing Official (Form 113), and a Notice of Assessment of Mobile Home (Form 2).
- A property owner may file a Form 130 petition any time of the year when an assessment notice has not been issued. However, the filing date of the petition determines the assessment date affected by the petition. The cutoff date for these appeals is May 10. As a general rule, petitions filed with the county assessor between the dates of May 11 of last year and May 10 of the current year affect the March 1 assessment date for this year. For petitions filed between May 11 of this year and May 10 of the next year, the affected assessment date is for March 1 of the next year.
The Appeals Process
After a petition for review of an assessment has been received, the county assessor assigns a unique number to the petition and reviews the petition to determine if the petitioner has complied with the rules for completing the form. If the form is not completed correctly, the county assessor completes a Notice of Defect in Completion of Assessment Appeal (Form 138) and returns the petition to the petitioner for correction.
Review of Assessment
It is the duty of the township assessor to respond to each Petition to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA) for Review of Assessment (Form 130) that is filed against an assessment made within the assessor's jurisdiction. Before a response can be made to the petition, the township assessor shall attempt to conduct a preliminary conference with the petitioner to resolve as many issues as possible about the assessment. An attempt to confer with the petitioner must be made within 30 days of receiving the petition from the county assessor. Within 10 days of conducting a conference with the petitioner, the township assessor must forward a response to the county assessor and the county auditor. The response form is section 3 of the Form 130.
If the petitioner disagrees with the Notice of Defect in Completion of Assessment Appeal (Form 138), he can file a statement of disagreement with the county assessor. A corrected form must be filed within 30 days for the petition to be valid. If the county assessor determines that the petition is completed correctly, the petition is forwarded to the township assessor for review.
After receiving the Form 130 petition and response from the township assessor, the county assessor forwards to the PTABOA only those issues that were not resolved through the preliminary conference held between the petitioner and the township assessor.
After the PTABOA has held a hearing on the unresolved issues, the PTABOA must issue a decision and prepare a written statement of findings within 60 days of the hearing. The PTABOA should issue its findings on the Form 115. Please note that the Form 115 should reflect the agreement of the township assessor and petitioner on any issues resolved at the township assessor conference. A copy of any decisions made by the PTABOA must be sent to the petitioner, the township assessor, and the county assessor.
The next level of appeal available to the petitioner is an appeal to the Appeals Division of the State Board of Tax Commissioners. Within 30 days of the PTABOA mailing of its decision, the taxpayer, or township assessor, or a PTABOA member can file a Petition to the State Board of Tax Commissioners for Review of Assessment (Form 131). This appeal is filed with the county assessor who forwards the form to the Appeals Division of the State Board of Tax Commissioners within 10 days of the filing. If a township assessor or a member of the PTABOA files a petition for review by the State Board, the county assessor must forward a copy of the petition to the taxpayer or authorized representative. Within 6 months from the filing date of a correct petition with the Appeals Division of the State Board of Tax Commissioners, the Appeals Division will conduct a hearing in the county where the property is located. The Appeals Division will issue a determination within 45 days.
State Board or Indiana Tax Court
An appeal of the Appeals Division may be taken to the State Board of Tax Commissioners or the Indiana Tax Court. If a party to the proceeding decides to appeal the Appeals Division decision to the State Board of Tax Commissioners, a petition for rehearing must be filed with the State Board of Tax Commissioners within 15 days after the Appeals Division gives notice of its decision. The State Board of Tax Commissioners has 30 days from receipt of a rehearing request to determine whether to grant a rehearing. The State Board of Tax Commissioners has 90 days from the date they grant the rehearing to issue a decision. If an appeal of the Appeals Division is made to the Indiana Tax Court, the appeal must be filed within 45 days from the date of the determination. Filing an appeal with the Tax Court involves the following:
- Filing a written notice with the State Board of Tax Commissioners on the intention of filing.
- Filing a complaint in the Tax Court.
- Serving the Attorney General and the county assessor with a copy of the complaint.
Please note that the State Board of Tax Commissioners may decide on its own motion to review a determination of the Appeals Division. If the State Board of Tax Commissioners decides to review a matter, it must give notice of its decision to review the matter within 15 days from the date the Appeals division issues it determination. The State Board of Tax Commissioners has 90 days form the date it gives notice of its intention to review/rehear a matter to issue its decision.
Certain property that is owned, occupied and used predominantly for charitable, religious, educational or scientifc purposes may be exempt from property taxation. To obtain an exemption, the property owner must have filed an application for Property Tax Exemption Form 136 with the County Assessor where the property is located. The PTABOA of that county will approve or disapprove the exemption application. For questions about Homestead, Mortgage, Veterans, Disability and other exemptions offered, please contact the Auditor's Office at 812-649-6004.