2020 Form 11 Info

Q: I just received my Form 11 in the mail. I just paid my tax bill, so what is this?

A: Your Form 11 is NOT A BILL. It is an annual notice sent by your county assessor’s office informing you of the assessed value of your property as of January 1, 2020. Your Form 11 shows last year’s assessed value of your property as of January 1, 2019, and the new value as of January 1, 2020.

Q: Hey, my value increased! I didn’t do anything to my property last year, so why did my value go up?

A: Every year, assessors perform what is called “annual adjustments” to the real property in the county. These adjustments require assessors to research sales of properties in a particular area over the past year. This sales information allows assessors to estimate the value of similar properties in the same area to determine assessed value. For example, say the five properties below are 2019 sales of houses in the same neighborhood. The table below shows their sale price versus their 2019 assessed value:

ratio

The assessor sees that the 2019 sales prices are, for the most part, higher than the current assessed value. The median ratio is .95, indicating that the values should be increased for 2020 to reflect current market value-in-use.

Q. Wait, what is market value-in-use?

A. Per Indiana Code, all real property (except for agricultural land, which is valued differently) in the state of Indiana is given a true tax value based on its market value-in-use. This is defined as “the market value-in-use of a property for its current use, as reflected by the utility received by the owner or by a similar user, from the property.”

Q. Okay, but the new value on my property seems really high. I don’t think anyone would pay that much for my property!

A. Tippecanoe County has consistently had a strong real estate market for the past five years. In fact, in 2019, the Lafayette, Indiana real estate market was present on Realtor.com’s “Hottest Markets in US Real Estate List” from March through December 2019. Many properties in this area sold for over their asking price in 2019. But don’t take Realtor.com’s word for it – you can view sales information compared to assessed values for specific neighborhoods by using the comp search tool on Beacon.

Q. But what about the impacts of the coronavirus on the real estate market! That must affect the value of my property, right?

A. The impact of the coronavirus is changing the economic situation in the country and around the world by the minute! At this point, county assessors are unsure how this will affect property value in the future. What we can say for certain is that the coronavirus did not begin to impact Tippecanoe County until late February 2020 at the earliest. Remember, the Form 11 states the assessed value of real property as of the assessment date of January 1, 2020. This assessment date reflects the sales that took place from January 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019, well before the coronavirus began to affect the economy.

Tax bills based on the 2020 assessment will not be due until May and November of 2021. The 2021 assessment will reflect the real property sales from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, so the impact of the coronavirus will be taken into account during the 2021 annual adjustments and appear on the 2021 Form 11.

Q. I’ve looked at the resources available, and I still think my assessment is wrong. What can I do?

A. If you believe the value of your property differs from its assessed value, you may appeal the assessment. You can file an appeal online by clicking here. If you need assistance in filing, please contact the Assessor’s Office by either email or phone at 765-423-9255 (Note: due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, the Assessor’s Office is closed to in-person visits). In order to successfully appeal your assessment, you should establish a valid case. This can be accomplished by providing information such as sales of the subject property, comparable properties, or an appraisal (although an appraisal is not required to appeal your assessment). Information about the appeals process is available here. Note: If the assessed value increased by more than 5% over the prior year’s assessment, the burden of proof is on the assessing official. However, you still must file an appeal.

Q. How long do I have to file an appeal?

A. The appeal window for 2020 is open from May 1, 2020 through June 15, 2020.

Q. I’ve filed my appeal. What’s the next step?

A. A representative from the Assessor’s Office will be in touch to schedule an informal meeting between the Assessor’s Office and the taxpayer (or tax representative). Due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, this meeting may be performed over the phone or online. The results of this meeting will then be forwarded to PTABOA, the county’s Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals, who will hear the appeal and the proposed agreed-upon resolution (if there is one) from the informal meeting. If there is a resolution, PTABOA can vote to approve or deny it. If there was not a resolution from the informal meeting, PTABOA will hear the appeal and the taxpayer will have an opportunity to present their side of the appeal and supply supporting evidence. PTABOA will then make a determination regarding the appeal.