Introduced Version




Citations Affected: IC 6-1.1-21-5.2.

Synopsis: Property tax deferral for the elderly. Provides a property tax deferral to homestead owners who are at least 65 years of age and who have adjusted gross incomes of less than $55,000. Provides that the deferral for an individual with adjusted gross income of not more than $20,000 is equal to the increase in the net property tax liability since the date of qualification on the individual's homestead. Provides that the deferral is phased out as the individual's adjusted gross income approaches $55,000. Provides that the property tax deferral becomes a lien against the property in favor of the state. Provides replacement revenue to local units from the property tax replacement fund. Appropriates money from the property tax replacement fund to replace the revenue lost from property tax deferrals.

Effective: January 1, 2001.

Welch, GiaQuinta, Mellinger, Crooks, Lawson L

    January 10, 2000, read first time and referred to Committee on Ways and Means.


Second Regular Session 111th General Assembly (2000)

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    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning taxation and to make an appropriation.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Indiana:

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-21-5.2; (00)IN1252.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 6-1.1-21-5.2 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2001]: Sec. 5.2. (a) The following definitions apply throughout this section:
        (1) "Dwelling" means:
            (A) an improvement to residential real property; or
            (B) a mobile home not assessed as real property;
        that an individual uses as the individual's residence.
        (2) "Homestead" means an individual's principal place of residence that:
            (A) is located in Indiana;
            (B) the individual either owns or is buying under a contract requiring the individual to pay the property taxes on the residence; and
            (C) consists of a dwelling and any real estate, not exceeding one (1) acre, that immediately surrounds the dwelling.
        (3) "Net property tax bill" means the amount of property

taxes currently due and payable by an individual for a particular calendar year after the application of all deductions and credits, except for the deferral allowed under this section, as evidenced by the tax statements prepared and mailed under IC 6-1.1-22-8.
        (4) "Qualifying individual" means an individual who:
            (A) is at least sixty-five (65) years of age; and
            (B) had an adjusted gross income of less than fifty-five thousand dollars ($55,000) for the preceding taxable year.
    (b) Each year a qualifying individual may defer a portion of the net property tax bill on the individual's homestead. The amount of the deferral to which a qualifying individual is entitled equals the amount determined under the following STEPS:
        STEP ONE: Determine the result of:
            (A) the net property tax bill on the individual's homestead for the year of the computation; minus
            (B) the net property tax bill on the individual's homestead for the year previous to the year that the individual first received the deferral under this chapter.
        STEP TWO: Determine the taxpayer's deferral percentage as follows:
            Income Range        Deferral Percentage
                0-20,000        100%
                20,001-25,000        86%
                25,001-30,000        72%
                30,001-35,000        58%
                35,001-40,000        44%
                40,001-45,000        30%
                45,001-50,000        16%
                50,001-55,000        2%
        STEP THREE: Determine the result of:
            (A) the STEP ONE result; multiplied by
            (B) the STEP TWO deferral percentage.
    (c) An individual who desires to defer property taxes as provided by this section must file a certified statement in duplicate on forms prescribed by the state board of tax commissioners with the auditor of the county in which the individual's homestead is located. The statement must be filed during the twelve (12) months before May 11 of the year before the first year for which the person wishes to obtain the deferral under this section. The statement applies for that first year and any succeeding year for which the deferral is allowed.
The statement must contain the following information:

        (1) The individual's full name and complete address.
        (2) A description of the individual's homestead and the number of years that the individual has resided at that homestead.
        (3) Proof of the individual's age.
        (4) The name of any other county and township in which the individual owns or is buying real property.
        (5) Any other information requested by the state board of tax commissioners.
    (d) If two (2) individuals own a homestead under a tenancy by the entirety and one (1) or both of the individuals meet the eligibility requirements of this section, those individuals are together entitled to one (1) deferral under this section.

     (e) The auditor of a county with whom a statement is filed under this section shall immediately prepare and transmit a copy of the statement to the auditor of any other county if the individual who claims the deferral owns or is buying real property located in the other county. The county auditor of the other county shall note on the copy of the statement whether the individual has claimed a deferral under this section for a homestead located in that other county. The auditor shall then return the copy to the auditor of the first county.
    (f) Upon receiving a proper deferral statement, the county auditor shall allow the deferral and shall apply the deferral equally against each installment of property taxes payable in that calendar year. The county auditor shall include the amount of the deferral applied against each installment of taxes on the tax statement required under IC 6-1.1-22-8.
    (g) After January 31 and before February 15 of each year, each county auditor shall certify to the state board of tax commissioners the number and amounts of deferrals allowed under this section for that calendar year. Upon receiving the certifications, the state board of tax commissioners shall determine the total amount of deferrals allowed in each county under this section and shall certify the totals to the department when the state board of tax commissioners certifies the total county tax levies. The department shall distribute to each county from the property tax replacement fund the amount of deferrals certified for that county by the state board of tax commissioners at the same time and in the same manner as the department distributes the county's estimated distribution under section 4 of this chapter. Money is appropriated from the property tax replacement fund to make the distributions.
    (h) The state acquires a lien against the homestead for which a

deferral is claimed under this chapter in an amount that equals the total deferral paid since the individual first qualified for the deferral. In December of each year, the county recorder shall record a lien in favor of the state showing the total amount of deferrals and release any previous lien for the deferral. The county auditor shall not approve the transfer of a homestead until the state has been reimbursed, by or on behalf of the person to whom the homestead is to be transferred, the total amount of deferrals. The county shall collect the reimbursement, which shall be transferred to the state. After the state is reimbursed, the county recorder shall release all liens of the state for deferrals of property taxes replaced under this section. The treasurer of state shall deposit the amount received from the county in the property tax replacement fund.
    (i) If an individual knowingly or intentionally files a false statement under this section, the individual must pay the amount of any deferral the individual received because of the false claim, plus interest, to the state board of tax commissioners for deposit in the property tax replacement fund established by section 1 of this chapter.

SOURCE: ; (00)IN1252.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2001] (a) IC 6-1.1-21-5.2 , as added by this act, applies to deferral claims filed after December 31, 2000.
    (b) IC 6-1.1-21-5.2 , as added by this act, applies to property taxes first due and payable after December 31, 2001.