Property owners are complaining their latest property tax assessments are all over the map in north Lake County."They screwed up," JoAnn Palko, of Hammond's Robertsdale section, said Wednesday after getting a slip of paper from the North Township assessor's office informing her that her 1,800-square-foot, wood-frame home had jumped in value from $127,000 to $220,000. "I have no pool, no sidewalk. It's their mistake."
George Rogge, president of Gary's Miller Citizens Corp. said members of his community are equally perplexed.Rogge said he has heard from Miller residents whose assessed values rose three, five and in one case, nine times, higher than last year's values.
Wes Miller, a Hammond tax activist, said his personal home and investment properties have gone up by thousands of dollars, but he is hearing from residents of the city's Hessville section that values there are stable or actually declined.
These protestations come in the wake of assessment notices arriving in the mail of the counties most urbanized townships and a tax revolt brewing in Indianapolis, where homeowners are being socked by property tax bills more than 35 percent higher than last year.
Gov. Mitch Daniels ordered a reassessment Wednesday for Marion County, and more are likely to follow for counties with soaring residential bills but few changes in business property values.
Dolan notes that a similar problem cropped up in Lake a couple of years ago and the state wrote the problems off, leaving it to Lake County officials to fix. "The same problems cropped up in Lake County two years ago but were written off by state authorities as the result of government inefficiency, local officials say." "Lake County headed off a similar tax revolt with a circuit breaker that caps an individual's property tax at 2 percent of the gross assessed value."