Hendricks County - Homeowners across Indiana are worried. Many who have already received their property tax bills have seen a dramatic jump in what they owe over last year.
Hendricks County resident Bob Lanham was among those at the county auditor's office Thursday looking for answers.
"My taxes went up, I figure 61 percent, and there's been no improvement. The roads are chuckholes. There's no water, no sewers and they keep raising taxes and I don't understand it," Lanham said.
Since bills went out Monday, Hendricks County officials have heard from dozens of angry homeowners. Auditor Nancy Marsh said while some bills remained the same or decreased, "I think we saw more taxes going up. That's the feeling we get."
She said taxes jumped an average of 25 percent countywide. Treasurer Amy Roberts, who's worked in the officer for 20 years said, "I think that's the largest (increase) I've ever seen." Hardest hit is Brownsburg, where taxes rose in part to help pay for the new town center.
Brownsburg resident Dan Marchetti said he was "shocked first and surprised. Then I called a bunch of neighbors to see if they saw the same thing (with their bills.)"
Dan Marchetti said he's looking at an extra $2,400 in taxes this year.
"It's a lot. It's significant," Marchetti said. "It means we're going to need to change expenditures in the house."
Hendricks County homeowners aren't the only ones feeling the pinch. The Legislative Services Agency estimates property taxes could go up an average of 24 percent statewide. Reasons for the spike include a new way of assessing properties each year called trending, as well as a reduction in the homestead credit and the end of the business inventory tax on items like cars. Marsh said there are other factors too.
"Someone may have been annexed. And there are a lot of new building projects, new schools and town halls, public safety buildings and parks. All capitol projects play into a tax bill," Marsh said.
The tax surge comes as lawmakers wrangle over how to provide property tax relief. But with a Sunday deadline looming, many taxpayers are skeptical, including Plainfield resident Mike Spangle.
"Of course, you're hopeful," Spangle said. "But it's the real world, so I don't see (property tax relief) happening."
Unlike Hendricks County, most counties have yet to get their property tax bills out, in large part because of the new assessment procedures.
Marion County doesn't expect to send out its bills until late June.
While officials are unable to make predictions, the expectation is that like Hendricks County, most homeowners will see a jump in property tax bills.
Saturday, July 26 2014 8:44 AM EDT2014-07-26 12:44:54 GMT
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