The budget order and tax rates for Starke County have been certified by the Department of Local Government Finance, allowing for property tax bills to be submitted on time. The DLGF certified the documents on Dec. 26, putting the county in a position to have taxes due on May 10, 2014. Starke County was the 30th county in the state to receive its 2014 budget order and tax rates.
DLGF Commissioner Micah Vincent said the certification of the budget order and tax rates sets the stage nicely for on-time tax bills for the fifth consecutive year, continuing the predictable administration of the property tax system.
The first step in the assessment to tax billing process is the completion of the property assessments, which culminates with the submission of a ratio study – that is, a comparison between property sales prices and assessed values in the county to ensure that market values are being used to determine assessed values. Starke County’s ratio study was submitted 11 days prior to the due date.
Once the DLGF approves the ratio study, the assessor sends the gross assessed values to the county auditor, who applies exemptions, deductions, or abatements to determine the net assessed values – the values upon which tax rates are based. That information was statutorily due to the DLGF by August 1, 2013. Starke County’s certified net assessed values were submitted on August 23, 2013.
Now that the 2014 budget has been certified by the DLGF, the next steps are handled at the county level. The county auditor is to calculate tax bills, which the county treasurer should mail to taxpayers no later than April 25, 2014.
A copy of the Starke County budget is available at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/4108.htm?WT.cg_n=reportslinks&WT.cg_s=starkecounty.