Introduced Version






HOUSE BILL No. 1305

_____


DIGEST OF INTRODUCED BILL



Citations Affected: IC 6-1.1-15 ; IC 6-1.1-17 .

Synopsis: Notice of property tax appeals. Establishes a procedure with respect to a property tax appeal involving at least 1% of the assessed value of a taxing unit for notice of the appeal and of hearings on the appeal to be given to the taxing unit. Allows a county executive to appeal to the tax court upon the request of an affected taxing unit if a final determination of the state board of tax commissioners would result in a claim for a refund that exceeds the lesser of: (1) $800,000; or (2) an amount equal to 10% of the aggregate tax levies of any taxing unit in the county for that year. Establishes a procedure for holding in reserve certain property taxes paid pending the outcome of an appeal, and for excluding the taxes from consideration in establishing tax rates and calculating state school support. Provides that refunds are first paid from the reserve account. Provides for the repayment of refunds in installments in certain circumstances. Requires a taxing unit to deposit money held in its appeal reserve fund in the unit's levy excess fund if the assessment or increase in assessment is upheld in the appeal.

Effective: January 1, 2002.





Crawford




    January 9, 2001, read first time and referred to Committee on Ways and Means.







Introduced

First Regular Session 112th General Assembly (2001)


PRINTING CODE. Amendments: Whenever an existing statute (or a section of the Indiana Constitution) is being amended, the text of the existing provision will appear in this style type, additions will appear in this style type, and deletions will appear in this style type.
Additions: Whenever a new statutory provision is being enacted (or a new constitutional provision adopted), the text of the new provision will appear in this style type. Also, the word NEW will appear in that style type in the introductory clause of each SECTION that adds a new provision to the Indiana Code or the Indiana Constitution.
Conflict reconciliation: Text in a statute in this style type or this style type reconciles conflicts between statutes enacted by the 2000 General Assembly.

HOUSE BILL No. 1305



    A BILL FOR AN ACT to amend the Indiana Code concerning taxation.

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

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-15-1; (01)IN1305.1.1. -->     SECTION 1. IC 6-1.1-15-1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 1. (a) A taxpayer may obtain a review by the county property tax assessment board of appeals of a county or township official's action with respect to the assessment of the taxpayer's tangible property if the official's action requires the giving of notice to the taxpayer. At the time that notice is given to the taxpayer, he shall also be informed in writing of:
        (1) his opportunity for review under this section; and
        (2) the procedures he must follow in order to obtain review under this section.
    (b) In order to appeal a current assessment and have a change in the assessment effective for the most recent assessment date, the taxpayer must file a petition with the assessor of the county in which the action is taken:
        (1) within forty-five (45) days after notice of a change in the assessment is given to the taxpayer; or
        (2) May 10 of that year;
whichever is later. The county assessor shall notify the county auditor that the assessment is under appeal. In addition, the county assessor shall send a notice to each taxing unit in which the property under appeal is located if the appealed items constitute at least one percent (1%) of the taxing unit's total gross certified assessed value for the immediately preceding year. The notice must include the appellant's name and address, the assessed value for the assessment date the year before the appeal, and the assessed value on the most recent assessment date. The county assessor shall compile a list of all units that must be notified under this subsection and shall forward the list and the information included on the notice to the state board of tax commissioners with any petition for review filed under section 3 of this chapter.
    (c) A change in an assessment made as a result of an appeal filed:
        (1) in the same year that notice of a change in the assessment is given to the taxpayer; and
        (2) after the time prescribed in subsection (b);
becomes effective for the next assessment date.
    (d) A taxpayer may appeal a current real estate assessment in a year even if the taxpayer has not received a notice of assessment in the year. If an appeal is filed on or before May 10 of a year in which the taxpayer has not received notice of assessment, a change in the assessment resulting from the appeal is effective for the most recent assessment date. If the appeal is filed after May 10, the change becomes effective for the next assessment date.
    (e) The state board of tax commissioners shall prescribe the form of the petition for review of an assessment determination by a township assessor. The board shall issue instructions for completion of the form. The form and the instructions must be clear, simple, and understandable to the average individual. An appeal of such a determination must be made on the form prescribed by the board. The form must require the petitioner to specify the following:
        (1) The physical characteristics of the property in issue that bear on the assessment determination.
        (2) All other facts relevant to the assessment determination.
        (3) The reasons why the petitioner believes that the assessment determination by the township assessor is erroneous.
    (f) The state board of tax commissioners shall prescribe a form for a response by the township assessor to the petition for review of an assessment determination. The board shall issue instructions for completion of the form. The form must require the township assessor to indicate:
        (1) agreement or disagreement with each item indicated on the petition under subsection (e); and
        (2) the reasons why the assessor believes that the assessment determination is correct.
    (g) Immediately upon receipt of a timely filed petition on the form prescribed under subsection (e), the county assessor shall forward a copy of the petition to the township assessor who made the challenged assessment. The township assessor shall, within thirty (30) days after the receipt of the petition, attempt to hold a preliminary conference with the petitioner and resolve as many issues as possible. Within ten (10) days after the conference, the township assessor shall forward to the county auditor and county assessor a completed response to the petition on the form prescribed under subsection (f). The county assessor shall immediately forward a copy of the response form to the petitioner and the county property tax assessment board of appeals. If the county auditor determines that the appealed items on which there is disagreement constitute at least one percent (1%) of the total gross certified assessed value of the immediately preceding year for any particular unit, the county auditor shall immediately notify the fiscal officer of the unit. If after the conference there are items listed in the petition on which there is disagreement, the property tax assessment board of appeals shall hold a hearing within ninety (90) days of the filing of the petition on those items of disagreement. The taxpayer may present the taxpayer's reasons for disagreement with the assessment. The township assessor or county assessor for the county must present the basis for the assessment decision on these items to the board of appeals at the hearing and the reasons the petitioner's appeal should be denied on those items. The board of appeals shall have a written record of the hearing and prepare a written statement of findings and a decision on each item within sixty (60) days of the hearing. If the township assessor does not attempt to hold a preliminary conference, the board shall accept the appeal of the petitioner at the hearing.
SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-15-4; (01)IN1305.1.2. -->     SECTION 2. IC 6-1.1-15-4 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 4. (a) After receiving a petition for review which is filed under section 3 of this chapter, the division of appeals of the state board of tax commissioners shall conduct a hearing at its earliest opportunity. In addition, the division of appeals of the state board may assess the property in question, correcting any errors which may have been made. The division of appeals of the state board shall give notice of the date fixed for the hearing, by mail: to
         (1) of the date fixed for the hearing to:
            (A)
the taxpayer; and to
             (B) the appropriate township assessor, county assessor, and county auditor ; and
        (2) including the date fixed for the hearing, the petition for review, and the information provided by the county assessor under section 1(b) of this chapter to each taxing unit
identified on the list compiled by the county assessor under section 1(b) of this chapter.
The division of appeals of the state board shall give these notices at least ten (10) days before the day fixed for the hearing.
    (b) If a petition for review does not comply with the state board of tax commissioners' instructions for completing the form prescribed under section 3 of this chapter, the division of appeals of the state board of tax commissioners shall return the petition to the petitioner and include a notice describing the defect in the petition. The petitioner then has thirty (30) days from the date on the notice to cure the defect and file a corrected petition. The division of appeals of the state board of tax commissioners shall deny a corrected petition for review if it does not substantially comply with the state board of tax commissioners' instructions for completing the form prescribed under section 3 of this chapter.
    (c) The state board of tax commissioners shall prescribe a form for use in processing petitions for review of actions by the county property tax assessment board of appeals. The state board shall issue instructions for completion of the form. The form must require the division of appeals of the state board to indicate agreement or disagreement with each item that is:
        (1) indicated on the petition submitted under section 1(e) of this chapter;
        (2) included in the township assessor's response under section 1(g) of this chapter; and
        (3) included in the county property tax assessment board of appeals' findings, record, and determination under section 2.1(d) of this chapter.
The form must also require the division of appeals of the state board to indicate the issues in dispute and its reasons in support of its resolution of those issues.
    (d) After the hearing the division of appeals of the state board shall give the petitioner, the township assessor, the county assessor, and the county auditor, and the taxing units required to be notified under subsection (a):
        (1) notice, by mail, of its final determination;
        (2) a copy of the form completed under subsection (c); and
        (3) notice of the procedures they must follow in order to obtain court review under section 5 of this chapter.
    (e) The division of appeals of the state board of tax commissioners shall conduct a hearing within six (6) months after a petition in proper form is filed with the division, excluding any time due to a delay reasonably caused by the petitioner. The division of appeals shall make a determination within the later of forty-five (45) days after the hearing or the date set in an extension order issued by the chairman of the state board of tax commissioners. However, the state board of tax commissioners may not extend the final determination date by more than one hundred eighty (180) days. Except as provided in subsection (g): (f):
        (1) the failure of the division of appeals to make a determination within the time allowed by this subsection shall be treated as a final determination of the state board of tax commissioners to deny the petition; and
        (2) a final decision of the division of appeals is a final determination of the state board of tax commissioners.
    (g) (f) A final determination of the division of appeals is not a final determination of the state board of tax commissioners if the state board of tax commissioners:
        (1) gives notice to the parties that the state board of tax commissioners will review the determination of the division of appeals within fifteen (15) days after the division of appeals gives notice of the determination to the parties or the maximum allowable time for the issuance of a determination under subsection (f) (e) expires; or
        (2) determines to rehear the determination under section 5 of this chapter.
The state board of tax commissioners shall conduct a review under subdivision (1) in the same manner as a rehearing under section 5 of this chapter.
SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-15-5; (01)IN1305.1.3. -->     SECTION 3. IC 6-1.1-15-5 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 5. (a) Within fifteen (15) days after the division of appeals of the state board of tax commissioners gives notice of its final determination under section 4 of this chapter to the party or the maximum allowable time for the issuance of a determination by the division of appeals under section 4 of this chapter expires, a party to the proceeding may request a rehearing before the board. The board may conduct a rehearing and affirm or modify its final determination, giving the same notices after

the rehearing as are required by section 4 of this chapter. The state board of tax commissioners has thirty (30) days after receiving a petition for a rehearing to determine whether to grant a rehearing. Failure to grant a rehearing within thirty (30) days after receiving the petition shall be treated as a final determination to deny the petition. A petition for a rehearing does not toll the time in which to file a petition for judicial review unless the petition for rehearing is granted. If the state board of tax commissioners determines to rehear a final determination of the division of appeals, the state board of tax commissioners:
        (1) may conduct the additional hearings that the state board of tax commissioners determines necessary or review the written record of the division of appeals without additional hearings; and
        (2) shall issue a final determination within ninety (90) days after notifying the parties that the state board of tax commissioners will rehear the determination.
Failure of the state board of tax commissioners to make a determination within the time allowed under subdivision (2) shall be treated as a final determination affirming the decision of the division of appeals.
    (b) A person may appeal the final determination of the division of appeals or the state board of tax commissioners regarding the assessment of that person's tangible property. The appeal shall be taken to the tax court. Appeals may be consolidated at the request of the appellants if it can be done in the interest of justice.
    (c) If a person desires to initiate an appeal of the state board of tax commissioners' final determination, the person shall:
        (1) file a written notice with the state board of tax commissioners informing the board of his intention to appeal;
        (2) file a complaint in the tax court; and
        (3) serve the attorney general and the county assessor with a copy of the complaint.
    (d) To initiate an appeal under this section, a person must take the action required by subsection (c) within:
        (1) forty-five (45) days after the state board of tax commissioners gives the person notice of its final determination under IC 6-1.1-14-11 unless a rehearing is conducted under subsection (a);
        (2) thirty (30) days after the board gives the person notice under subsection (a) of its final determination, if a rehearing is conducted under subsection (a) or the maximum time elapses for the state board of tax commissioners to make a determination under this section; or


        (3) forty-five (45) days after the division of appeals gives notice of a final determination under section 4 of this chapter or the division fails to make a determination within the maximum time allowed under section 4 of this chapter, if a rehearing is not granted under this section.
    (e) The failure of the state board of tax commissioners to conduct a hearing within the time period prescribed in section 4(b) of this chapter does not constitute notice to the person of a board determination.
    (f) In a case in which the final determination of the state board of tax commissioners would result in a claim by a taxpayer with respect to a particular year for a refund that exceeds:
        (1) eight hundred thousand dollars ($800,000); or
        (2) an amount equal to ten percent (10%) of the aggregate tax levies of all any taxing units unit in the county for that year;
whichever is less, the county executive may take an appeal to the tax court in the manner prescribed in this section but only upon request by the county assessor or a taxing unit in which the property under appeal is located. If the appeal is taken at the request of a taxing unit, the taxing unit shall pay the costs of the appeal.
SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-15-9; (01)IN1305.1.4. -->     SECTION 4. IC 6-1.1-15-9 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 9. (a) If tangible property is reassessed by the state board of tax commissioners under section 8 of this chapter, the owner of the property has a right to appeal the board's final determination of the reassessment. In a case meeting the requirements of section 5(f)(1) or 5(f)(2) of this chapter, the county executive also has a right to may appeal the board's final determination of the reassessment but only upon request by the county assessor or a taxing unit in which the property under appeal is located. If the appeal is taken at the request of a taxing unit, the taxing unit shall pay the costs of the appeal.
    (b) An appeal under this section must be initiated in the manner prescribed in section 5 of this chapter.
SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-15-10; (01)IN1305.1.5. -->     SECTION 5. IC 6-1.1-15-10 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 10. (a) This section applies to a petition for review to a board or an appeal to the tax court involving less than:
        (1) five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in assessed value resulting from an original assessment; or
        (2) an increase of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in assessed value from one (1) year to the next.

     (b) If a petition for review to any board or an appeal to the tax court regarding an assessment or increase in assessment is pending, the taxes

resulting from the assessment or increase in assessment are, notwithstanding the provisions of IC 6-1.1-22-9 , not due until after the petition for review, or the appeal, is finally adjudicated and the assessment or increase in assessment is finally determined. However, even though a petition for review or an appeal is pending, the taxpayer shall pay taxes on the tangible property when the property tax installments come due, unless the collection of the taxes is enjoined pending an original tax appeal under IC 33-3-5. The amount of taxes which the taxpayer is required to pay, pending the final determination of the assessment or increase in assessment, shall be based on:
        (1) the assessed value reported by the taxpayer on his personal property return if a personal property assessment, or an increase in such an assessment, is involved; or
        (2) an amount based on the immediately preceding year's assessment of real property if an assessment, or increase in assessment, of real property is involved.
    (b) (c) If the petition for review or the appeal is not finally determined by the last installment date for the taxes, the taxpayer, upon showing of cause by a taxing official or at the tax court's discretion, may be required to post a bond or provide other security in an amount not to exceed the taxes resulting from the contested assessment or increase in assessment.
    (c) (d) Each county auditor shall keep separate on the tax duplicate a record of that portion of the assessed value of property on which a taxpayer is not required to pay taxes under subsection (a). (b). When establishing rates and calculating state school support, the state board of tax commissioners shall recognize the fact that a taxpayer is not required to pay taxes under certain circumstances.

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-15-10.5; (01)IN1305.1.6. -->     SECTION 6. IC 6-1.1-15-10.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 10.5. (a) This section applies to a petition for review to a board or an appeal to the tax court involving at least:
        (1) five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in assessed value resulting from an original assessment; or
        (2) an increase of five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000) in assessed value from one (1) year to the next.

     (b) If a petition for review to a board or an appeal to the tax court regarding an assessment or increase in assessment is pending, the taxpayer may pay the amount of taxes due under section 10 of this chapter or may pay the amount of taxes due based on the current year's assessed value. On each semiannual

due date for payment of property taxes, the county assessor shall provide the county treasurer a list by taxing district of the parcels eligible under subsection (a). The list must include:
        (1) the parcel or tax number;
        (2) the appellant's name and address;
        (3) the assessed value for the assessment date of the year before the appeal;
        (4) the assessed value on the most recent assessment date; and
        (5) the difference between the assessed values specified in subdivisions (3) and (4).
Within sixty (60) days after receiving the list, the county treasurer shall provide the list to the county auditor.
    (c) Within ninety (90) days after the semiannual due date of taxes, the county auditor shall certify the information received under subsection (b) to the various taxing units and the state board of tax commissioners. Each unit shall deposit the taxes attributable to the disputed assessment in an interest bearing reserve account until after the petition for review or the appeal is finally adjudicated and the assessment or increase in assessment is finally determined. A taxing unit may not expend property taxes held in reserve under this section.
    (d) The county auditor shall keep separate on the tax duplicate a record of that part of the assessed value of property on which
property taxes are held in reserve under subsection (c). When establishing rates and calculating state school support, the state board of tax commissioners shall recognize the fact that a taxing unit may not expend property taxes held in reserve under this section.
    (e) The county auditor shall pay a refund to a prevailing taxpayer. The county auditor shall charge the refund to the various taxing units to which an overpayment has been paid. The taxing units are then entitled to withdraw the property taxes held in reserve under this section with respect to the prevailing taxpayer.
    (f) If an assessment or increase in assessment is upheld in a final determination, the taxing unit shall deposit the property taxes and interest held in reserve under this section into the taxing unit's levy excess fund.
    (g) The state board of tax commissioners shall adopt rules under IC 4-22-2 to implement this section.

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-15-11; (01)IN1305.1.7. -->     SECTION 7. IC 6-1.1-15-11 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 11. (a) If a review or appeal authorized under this chapter results in a reduction of the

amount of an assessment or if the state board of tax commissioners on its own motion reduces an assessment, the taxpayer is entitled to a credit in the amount of any overpayment of tax on the next successive tax installment, if any, due in that year. If, after the credit is given, a further amount is due the taxpayer, he may file a claim for the amount due. If the claim is allowed by the board of county commissioners, the county auditor shall, without an appropriation being required, pay the amount due the taxpayer. However, if:
        (1) the amount due the taxpayer exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000); and
        (2) the amount due the taxpayer has not been deposited in an escrow account under section 10.5 of this chapter;
the county auditor and the taxpayer may agree to have the amount due paid to the taxpayer in not more than four (4) annual installments.

     (b) The county auditor shall charge the amount refunded to the taxpayer against the accounts of the various taxing units to which the overpayment has been paid.
    (c) Notwithstanding subsection (a), regardless of the amount due the taxpayer, the county auditor, the taxing units to which the overpayment has been paid, and the taxpayer may agree to a mutually satisfactory payment schedule of annual installments.
    (d) If the county auditor pays the amount due the taxpayer in annual installments under subsection (a) or (c), the taxpayer is entitled to receive with each installment the interest accrued upon the total amount due the taxpayer at six percent (6%) per annum.

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-17-1; (01)IN1305.1.8. -->     SECTION 8. IC 6-1.1-17-1 IS AMENDED TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 1. (a) On or before August 1 of each year, the county auditor shall send a certified statement, under the seal of the board of county commissioners, to the fiscal officer of each political subdivision of the county and the state board of tax commissioners. The statement shall contain:
        (1) information concerning the assessed valuation in the political subdivision for the next calendar year;
        (2) an estimate of the taxes to be distributed to the political subdivision during the last six (6) months of the current calendar year;
        (3) the current assessed valuation as shown on the abstract of charges;
        (4) the appellant's name, address, and the assessed value for the assessment date the year before the appeal and the assessed value on the most recent assessment date for each

petition for review filed with any board or an appeal to the tax court for petitions and appeals filed before July 15 of the year;
         (5) the average growth in assessed valuation in the political subdivision over the preceding three (3) budget years, excluding years in which a general reassessment occurs, determined according to procedures established by the state board of tax commissioners; and
        (5) (6) any other information at the disposal of the county auditor that might affect the assessed value used in the budget adoption process.
    (b) The estimate of taxes to be distributed shall be based on:
        (1) the abstract of taxes levied and collectible for the current calendar year, less any taxes previously distributed for the calendar year; and
        (2) any other information at the disposal of the county auditor which might affect the estimate.
    (c) The fiscal officer of each political subdivision shall present the county auditor's statement to the proper officers of the political subdivision.

SOURCE: IC 6-1.1-17-2.5; (01)IN1305.1.9. -->     SECTION 9. IC 6-1.1-17-2.5 IS ADDED TO THE INDIANA CODE AS A NEW SECTION TO READ AS FOLLOWS [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002]: Sec. 2.5. (a) When certifying the assessed value of a political subdivision for budget making purposes, the county auditor:
        (1) shall exclude appealed assessed value; and
        (2) may exclude assessed value of property that is part of a bankruptcy estate if the county auditor determines that the property taxes will be uncollectible if assessed.
The county auditor shall determine the amount to be excluded under subdivision (1), which may not be greater than the difference between the assessed value for the assessment date the year before the assessment appeal and the assessed value on the most recent assessment date as certified by the county auditor under section 1 of this chapter. If the appeal concerns the assessment of property not assessed for the year before the assessment appeal, the amount of assessed value to be excluded is only the amount subject to appeal as estimated by the county assessor.
    (b) The proper officers of a political subdivision shall exclude appealed and bankruptcy assessed value excluded under subsection (a) when formulating the political subdivision's budget, tax rate, and tax levy for the ensuing budget year.

SOURCE: ; (01)IN1305.1.10. -->     SECTION 10. [EFFECTIVE JANUARY 1, 2002] (a) IC 6-1.1-15-1 , IC 6-1.1-15-4 , IC 6-1.1-15-5 , IC 6-1.1-15-9 , IC 6-1.1-15-10 , IC 6-1.1-15-11 , and IC 6-1.1-17-1 , all as amended by this act, and IC 6-1.1-15-10.5 and IC 6-1.1-17-2.5 , both as added by this act, apply to property taxes first due and payable after December 31, 2001.
    (b) This SECTION expires January 1, 2003
.