When new property tax assessments showed up at Vigo County businesses this week, it had owners talking.
Some say values have been under assessed. But many more are shocked about a hefty tax increase.
Others are worried the new taxes will jeopardize their business. There’s a debate on whether this new generation of revenue will benefit Vigo County.
Two commercial properties, next the Dance Studio at 13th and Wabash don’t look like they’d be worth 114 thousand dollars. But according to a new tax assessment, owner Brandon Halleck received this week, it says they are.
“I was a little under valued before, and yes I would have been fine with a 30, 40 thousand dollar increase, and I was waiting for the assessed value to catch up with this … Just not .. this,” Halleck said.
Halleck says the parcels went from being assessed at 5 thousand dollars each to 57 thousand dollars overnight.
“Looking at a market value though is not truly a market value, so I’d like to see how they got some of those numbers.”
Halleck plans to appeal his new assessment and says if it stays this way it’s not just business owners who will be paying.
“I’ll probably have to raise my prices here at the Dance Studio.”
Since Steve Ellis purchased the property of the old Furniture Gallery Store for his Top Guns shooting range, he says the store’s assessed value went from 30 thousand dollars to 90 thousand.
“Honestly we will have to look at other alternatives like quite frankly selling and just going back to a gun shop,” he said.
Not everyone feels the same as Halleck and Ellis.
Several months ago, I sat down with Popeye’s owner Scott Womack who was very vocal about property values being under assessed.
Today, he says he too is surprised to see the values increase overnight, but owning multiple businesses around the state he says this is fair.
“That’s our system, so your assessment should be pretty close to what you paid for it or what the market value is.”
Womack believes this assessment will generate revenue for the Vigo County community. Others worry about business.
“We’ve got so many empty buildings in our community right now, it doesn’t do us any good to have more empty buildings,” Ellis said.
Both Brandon Halleck and Steve Ellis say they would have rather seen their assessments increase over a few years. Ellis says it would have given his business time to grow into those payments.
I reached out to the county assessors office a couple of times today and was told she wouldn’t be in the office today.