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Lawmakers To Look At Possible Runaway Assessments

(From left) Sen. Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis) and Sen. Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek) announce the creation of a committee to investigate property tax concerns.

A legislative study committee will examine the state’s property tax assessment system to determine if the state’s property tax caps are being manipulated.

Indianapolis Republican Senator Scott Schneider called for the investigation after constituents raised concerns about sharp increases in their property tax assessments in an area of Marion County.

The state Department of Local Government Finance will look into the Marion County issue and the Commission on State Tax and Financing Policy will consider the process statewide.

Buck Creek Republican Senator Brandt Hershman, who sits on the commission, says he’s heard discussion the assessment process could be used to circumvent the state’s property tax caps, but he says this is the first time he’s seen what he calls “hard data.”

“If we do find a problem, this could potentially be addressed before property tax bills come out next spring, and so I think it’s timely for us to try to take a look at it and determine whether any problems exist,” he says.

Legislators, anticipating the issue in the wake of the passage of property tax caps, authored a host of bills in the 2010 session concerning the possibility of runaway assessments, but none were passed.

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