SOUTH BEND, Ind. — It’s that time of year again when homeowners receive their property tax bill.
This year many in Michiana are experiencing sticker shock when seeing how much theirs increased compared to last year.
“I’ve got a client in south bend who just contacted me last week that you know his tax assessment went up $100,000 over the last year which is crazy,” said Allen Stewart, a Managing Broker Stewart Realty.
Although it seems crazy, increases like Allen Stewart’s client aren’t uncommon.
Mike Castellon, an accessor for Penn Township, says the average increase he’s seeing for property taxes this year is about 36%.
“36% is being driven by a really robust market where people are selling at extraordinary values across the board. Then we also have a lot of investors buying up property across the district,” said Castellon.
Castellon says they also just completed a comprehensive study to determine land values for the first time since 2002, which is an additional cause for the increase.
It’s affecting many on fixed incomes resulting in an uptick of appeals applications — which Castellon encourages.
“In the mass appraisal technique, we’re grouping you with a bunch of homes, but when you file an appeal, I’m gonna look specifically me myself, I work for you, so I’m gonna look at your home specific to the market and if I can lower it I will,” said Castellon.
While there’s still a chance your appeal will be denied Stewart says having the help of an experienced appraiser or realtor may help your chances.
“We can do something that’s called a broker price opinion. It’s pretty much the same thing as an appraisal, but it’s not an official appraisal. Some will charge you know probably the same as an appraisal and if you find that’s the case, I think an appraisal you know would be a little stronger,” said Stewart.
Penn Township will be hosting its second town hall to help answer any questions regarding property taxes on May 27th inside the United Steelworkers Hall at 6 pm.