Kokomo — In its first general reassessment of property since 2002, the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance has asked all 92 counties to have the reassessment and data-review process half completed by May 1.

Howard County expects to not only hit but beat that deadline.

Assessor Jamie Shepherd told county council members the county has completed 48 percent of the parcel inspections and 38 percent of the data review.

According to the DLGF, Tipton County has completed 52 percent of the parcel review and 1 percent of the data review. Miami County has completed 37 percent of the parcel inspections and none of the data review.

Shepherd said the reassessment information will be used for 2012 taxes payable in 2013.

She said Clay, Ervin and Monroe townships have been completed and they are now working on Liberty Township. Shepherd said all the assessed-value trending information for tax purposes has been completed for 2010 taxes payable in 2011.

Shepherd said all 45,000 parcels in Howard County — including residential, farm, commercial and industrial property — have to be physically inspected.

“It’s dependent on the weather,” she said of the work schedule. “We try to do more data input during the winter months.”

Shepherd said Howard County uses a “rolling reassessment,” which means every four years all the property in the county has been reassessed.

The assessor’s office uses Kokomo-based Ad Valorem Solutions to conduct the reassessment site inspections, which, Shepherd said, saves the county $250,000. State law doesn’t require a staff member from the assessor’s office to do the site inspection unless it involves the sale of property.

“With the rolling assessment and annual trending, property owners see a slight curve up or down in the assessed value,” she said. “In the past, when the assessment was done every 10 years, there was a significant change in the assessed value.”

Amanda Stanley, a spokeswoman for the DLGF, said there are no penalties for counties that don’t meet the deadlines.

“It does set the county up not to complete the reassessment by the March 1, 2012, deadline,” she said. “That could result in tax billing delays and cost local taxing units money if they have to borrow money.”

At the state level, only nine counties are behind schedule for the parcel review, including Madison County. Only eight counties are on schedule for the data review.

By Ken de la Bastide
Tribune enterprise editor The Kokomo Tribune