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IN lawmakers looking into property tax assessment manipulation

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.

State Senator Scott Schneider (R-Indianapolis) 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 – a study committee – will consider the process statewide.

Senator Brandt Hershman (R-Buck Creek), 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.”

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. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.