WHY ARE MY NEIGHBOR'S TAXES LOWER?
There are a plethora of reasons which may cause your neighbor's real estate taxes to be less than yours. The main causes for this typically are differences between your house and theirs (basement finish...size...quality...) and also the types of deductions they may qualify for that you do not. Deductions are handled by the Auditor's office.
I DID NOTHING, YET MY VALUE RAISED. WHY?
Real estate value rise or fall regardless of whether a home or business owner does anything to their property. The intent of ratio studies is to attempt to capture this change, and illustrate the market change up or down. To learn more about ratio studies you can research HERE.
AREN'T PROPERTY VALUES CAPPED?
One of the most common misconceptions is that assessed values are capped under the tax caps taxpayers approved years back. Those caps have nothing to do with the assessing of a property, but the taxes of which can be applied. Your assessment can increase or decrease, it is only restrained by what market value supports (if appealed) and/or Indiana laws.
PEOPLE ARE ON MY PROPERTY, WAS IT YOU?
There are multiple times or issues which could prompt someone from our office to conduct a field visit. Employees of our office are easily identified by their ID badges they are required to have with them in the field and all of our vehicles have an Elkhart County Assessor decal on their door panels. Employees are instructed to attempt to make a point of contact, perhaps knocking on the door, before attempting to complete their task and leave.
IMPROVEMENTS...I DID NO IMPROVEMENTS??
In the assessing world the term improvement merely means most structures one has added to the vacant real estate. Houses, variety of outbuildings, porches and pools all are examples of such items. The Form-11s no longer use the term improvements [structures], but other assessing forms do still utilize the term.