Assessing the Increase

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Vigo County residents are finding an increase in property tax assessments isn’t just effecting commercial businesses.

A piece of mail that went out this week has become a big talk in the community.

Many who received a property tax assessment increase this week are startled to see such a change overnight.

We talked with one woman who recently settled in Terre Haute, but is now worried this cost will be too much.

Kris Aninger’s comfort living in Terre Haute was shaken this week when her property tax assessment came in the mail. For her … An 8 thousand dollar increase.

“And there was no explanation.”

Aninger moved from California to Terre Haute two years ago to help with expenses.

When she called her real estate agent for answers, she found that her agent’s assessment increased 80 thousand dollars and her agent’s neighbor increased 60 thousand.

Now Aninger is urging the community to look for answers.

“How are properties assessed? I don’t know that.”

She says she knows historically properties have been under assessed, but she’d like a better system to bridge that gap.

She plans to appeal her assessment.

“There’s going to be a lot of people at the assessors office in line, wanting answers and we should have answers,” Aninger said.

One Vigo County resident who’s familiar with the appeals process is Randy Gentry.

After an assessment increase in property tax of 50 thousand dollars, Gentry appealed and was denied by the county.

He took his case to the state and nearly five years later, the assessment was lowered close to fair market value.

“The entire assessment process is extremely flawed. It’s all supposed to be based off of a fair market value, I don’t think anyone would contest if you live in a home and it’s a 50 thousand dollar home then it’s assessed at 50 thousand dollars that’s great,” he said.

Gentry says the process is lengthy and tedious, he had to appeal his assessments each year during the process.

Even once his case was successful, it still took the county a while to refund the increase taxes paid.

He advises those ready to take on the process to make sure their assessment is incorrect.

It could be fair market value that was recently adjusted.

“Don’t let these types of things go through, if it’s not right, make sure you appeal and go through the process,” Gentry said.

Another important factor in this situation to remember is a deadline to appeal. Aninger says she has just 45 days to take her statement to the assessors office.
 

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