Welcome to engage™, Porter County's citizen engagement portal!

A modern approach to citizen engagement suggests that some citizens appreciate the ability to interact with their local government in a digital environment, such as online access to services to; pay property taxes, research publicly available information, submit documents and forms, etc. That’s where engage™ comes in!

engage™ is an online resource where citizens, real estate professionals, businesses, etc. can access all kinds of publicly available information related to property, such as; owner name, assessed value, improvement information, property taxes, property record cards, interactive forms, and so much more!

engage™ is intended to be an intuitive, user-friendly application. However, we know that some features of engage™ could use a bit of guidance to be completely beneficial to you. This informative guide will serve to provide you with a bit more guidance, should you have a need. As well to the left, we are happy to provide you with a number of resources to assist you in your property assessment journey.

Thank you for visiting our website and for the opportunity to serve you and your needs.

Please contact us anytime - we are here to help!


News

Online Door Hanger

Our online door hanger is currently unavailable. We are currently updating that online form. Please feel free to mail it to our office or contact our office and review the information with one of our staff.


COVID-19 Note to Taxpayer

Note to taxpayers,

We are here to help answer questions as fast and as efficiently as possible during the pandemic. If you need to visit our offices (Main office Suite 211/Suite 302), these are the precautions that need to be taken per the Porter County Commissioners:

Temperature screening of the public will take place at each building and anyone whose temperature exceeds CDC guidelines will not be allowed to enter. Every member of the public will be required to wear masks while inside the County buildings. Citizens are encouraged to bring their own masks. There may be a limited supply of masks available to those persons who do not have one. At the Porter County Administration Center, public access will ONLY be available through the main entrance on Indiana Avenue. There will be no public access to the building from the parking garage.

Click on the following link for additional information at the Porter County site:
http://www.porterco.org/1660/County-Offices-Reopen-With-Precautions

Other options to communicate, contact us at engage.

If you have recently filed an appeal by the deadline of June 15, 2020 for the assessment date of January 1, 2020 and have not submitted evidence, you may mail or email it directly to our office:

By Mail:
Porter County Assessor
155 Indiana Ave., Suite 211
Valparaiso, IN 46383

By Email:
Assessor@porterco.org
**please reference your parcel that you appealed**

Type of Evidence may consist of –

  • Sale of the subject property/Offers to purchase
  • A 2019 appraisal prepared by a licensed appraiser (Not required)
  • 2019 sales of comparable properties
  • For 1-3 rental units – current lease with rent info
  • Photos
  • Construction Costs

Thank you for your patience. Please know that if you have to leave a message via phone or email, someone from our office will be in touch with you as soon as possible.


Form 11's have been mailed.

For the assessment January 1, 2020, Form 11's were mailed April 30, 2020 and the filing deadline was June 15, 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

  • On your Form 11
  • On your property record card
  • On your tax bill
  • From the search bar on this website, enter your address

Record cards can be searched, located and printed online through a parcel search by clicking here.

Residents of Portage Township need to contact the office of the Portage Township Assessor. Information to contact the office is located by clicking here.

The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) offers an abundance of information regarding current legislation and tax policy. DLGF OVERVIEW

The term "Improvement" simply refers to your house, structure or other improvements to the raw land. These are not necessarily improvements that have been added this year.

For more on the Notice of Assessment of Land and Improvements (Form 11), please visit the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF).

Assessed values are established as of January 1 of the tax year, so for taxes payable in 2020 the valuation date is January 1, 2019. To arrive at the property’s value on that date, sales information from the prior year is considered. For taxes payable in 2020, the assessor’s office compared sales from 2019.

Ratio Studies are conducted to ensure uniformity and equity of assessments in a mass appraisal system. For more information visit - DLGF

Real property in Indiana is assessed at Market Value in Use. Distress sales such as tax, foreclosure, or short sales are typically not representative of Market Value.

  • A blank Form 130 can be accessed here Blank 130
  • Search your parcel from the search bar. Click on your address for the property details. Under the "Forms" tab you can access a Form 130 that is populated with your parcel information.
  • Your appeal form can be mailed or brought to the Assessor's office or submitted through this website.

An appeal of the current year's assessment may have two different filing deadlines which are based on when the Form 11 notice of assessment is mailed. If the Form 11 is mailed before May 1st of the assessment year, the filing deadline is June 15th of that year. If the Form 11 is mailed after April 30th of the assessment year, the filing deadline is June 15th of the year that tax statements are mailed. IC 6-1.1-15-1.1

Contact your County or Township Assessor for status on active appeals.

Assessed values reflect the market and are trended on an annual basis. Actual taxes can vary based on local approved tax rates, referendums, or individual circumstances.

  • Several factors go into determining taxes once the property is assessed, including deductions, tax caps and fees.
  • Assessed values are determined from a multitude of exterior and interior features. Properties that appear similar may have slightly different attributes that contribute to assessed value. For more information on property taxes visit - DLGF - Citizen's Guide to Property Tax.

Assessed values fluctuate with the market. Valid sales provide a comprehensive indication of trends. An arm's length sale of a property is a significant factor in determining market trends, which may affect your assessed value.

Sales information can be obtained here, or at the Department of Local Government Finance's website by clicking here.

  • Use the search bar to search public information for a property by address or parcel number
  • You can also use the map to search. First type an address in the map search. From there click on any parcel and you will be directed to available information for that parcel Map

  • A physical inspection of the property is performed to ensure records are correct.
  • Properties in Indiana are reassessed on a four-year cycle. One fourth of the county is reassessed each year. For more information visit - DLGF.

During reassessment, our office will send field agents to examine and inspect the exterior of every property and interview the property owner to obtain information about the interior. If no one is available to answer the questions at the time of our inspection, we will leave a door hanger. This information is vital to our efforts, since it provides us with information about the interior features and if any changes have been made to the interior of the home.

During statewide reassessments, county and township assessors physically inspect each property to ensure that records are correct. Inspection accomplishes the gathering of data to value the property. For example, does the property still have a free-standing garage and an in-ground pool? Is the building on this property still 1,200 square feet or has it increased or decreased in size? By confirming this information, assessors can ensure properties are properly valued.

For general questions about recording documents, please click here.

Questions regarding State Tax Liens should be directed to the County Clerk's Office. To access the Clerk's Office contact information please click here. Questions regarding Federal Tax Liens should be directed to the County Recorder's Office. To access the Recorder's Office contact information click here.

Questions regarding State Tax Liens should be directed to the County Clerk's Office. To access the Clerk's Office contact information please click here. Questions regarding Federal Tax Liens should be directed to the County Recorder's Office. To access the Recorder's Office contact information click here.

Probate/Estate filing questions should be directed to the County Clerk's Office. To contact the Clerk's Office, please click here.

If you live in a city or a town you must contact the municipality. If you live outside the boundaries of a city or town you must contact the County Plan Commission. To contact the Plan Commission office, please click here.

Appeals


*NEW LEGISLATIVE CHANGES AFFECTING THE APPEALS PROCESS*

IC 6-1.1-15-1.1
As a result of legislative changes that were passed in 2017, significant changes have been made to the appeal process. Taxpayers wishing to contest their assessment must now do so on the State prescribed form, Form 130. Form 133, which was previously used to contest assessments on objective grounds, has been eliminated. Taxpayers wishing to contest their assessment on objective grounds (for example, a garage that has been removed or too much square footage) should now do so using page 2 of Form 130. For further information, please visit the DLGF’s website at http://www.in.gov/dlgf/ or contact our office directly.

For the assessment, January 1, 2020 Form 11's were mailed on April 30, 2020 and the filing deadline was June 15, 2020.

Cyclical Reassessment

During statewide reassessments, county and township asssessors physically inspect each property to ensure that records are correct. Approximately 25% of the parcels in each jurisdiction will be reassessed each year, over a four-year time frame.

During a field inspection, personnel will attempt to make contact with the taxpayer to identify his/herself and explain their purpose for the visit. They will ask several questions to verify information about the interior of the property and request permission to inspect the exterior. If no one is home, personnel will proceed with their work, which includes an inspection of the front and rear of the property. When the inspection is complete, a door hanger will be left to inform the taxpayer that we were there. Photographs will also be taken during all inspections.

Each reassessment field inpsector wears an ID badge and an identifying t-shirt or vest. If a taxpayer is uncertain about the identity of a representative, please contact the Porter County Assessor's Office for verification.

Tax Bill Estimator

The Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF), in partnership with the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) at Indiana University, created the below tax bill projection tools for Indiana taxpayers. These tools will allow the taxpayer to enter their property's assessed value and possible deductions to see a range of tax bill estimates.

The estimates provided by these tools are projections only and should not be taken as a statement of true tax liability.

Forms

Please take note of the instructions regarding the forms below:

  • Blank forms may be downloaded.
  • Fillable PDFs will not save as populated under the "save" option. Once filled, they may be printed to a PDF under the "print" option.
  • Fillable forms are to be printed, signed, and submitted to the Assessor's office.

Inheritance

Inheritance tax in the State of Indiana was repealed for individuals who died after Dec. 31, 2012. No inheritance tax returns have to be prepared or filed. No tax has to be paid. In addition, no Consents to Transfer personal property or Notice of Intended Transfer of Checking Account are required for those dying after Dec. 31, 2012. However, for individuals who died before January 1, 2013, inheritance tax returns are still required for those that exceed their exemption amount.

Effective April 1, 2016, all resident Indiana Inheritance Tax Returns (Form IH-6) for individuals who died prior to January 1, 2013 must be filed with the Indiana Department of Revenue, rather than the county courts.

For more information regarding the repeal of inheritance tax view the letter the Indiana Department of Revenue issued here, inheritance.pdf.

Mobile Home

The true tax value of mobile homes is assessed under IC 6-1.1-7 (other than mobile homes subject to the preferred valuation method under IC 6-1.1-439(b)) using The National Automibile Dealers Association Guide.

50 IAC 3.3-2-2
"Annually assessed mobile home" defined Sec. 2
"Annually assessed mobile home" means a mobile home that: (1) has a certificate of title issued by the bureau of motor vehicles under IC 9-17-6; and(2) is not on a permanent foundation.

IC 9-17-1-0.5
Items requiring a title under IC 9-17Sec. 0.5. The following are required to be titled under this article:(3) Manufactured or mobile homes that are:(A) personal property not held for resale; or(B) not attached to real estate by a permanent foundation.

50 IAC 3.3-2-3 - "Mobile Home" means a "dwelling" as defined in IC 9-13-2-103.2.

A "manufactured home" as defined in IC 9-13-2-96

If you have any questions regarding Transferring/ Moving permits, see the guidance offered by the Office of the Porter County Treasurer.

  • For questions or information regarding mobile home titles, please contact the Bureau of Motor Vehicles.
  • If the name(s) on the title appears to be incorrect, please contact your mobile home park office.

Personal Property

Personal Property is a self-assessed valuation system whereby property owners are responsible for reporting all tangible personal property that is used in their trade or business, used for the production of income, or held as an investment that should be or is subject to depreciation for federal income tax purposes. Completed personal property returns are due on or before Friday, May 15, 2020.

A penalty of twenty-five dollars ($25) applies for returns filed after May 15th. For returns not filed within thirty (30) days of the due date, an additional fee of twenty percent (20%) of the taxes payable will be assessed.

Pursuant to Indiana Code 6-1.1-3-7 (b), a county assessor MAY grant an extension of not more than thirty (30) days to file the taxpayer?s return.

Personal Property Exemption

Personal Property exemption eligibility/notification SEA 233-2019

Beginning with the January 1, 2020 assessment date, the personal property exemption increases from $20,000 to $40,000. Personal property returns for eligible taxpayers (those whose total acquisition costs do not exceed $40,000) must include the following information:

  1. A declaration that the taxpayer's business property in the county is exempt from taxation;
  2. Whether the taxpayer's business personal property within the county is in one (1) location or multiple locations; and
  3. If the property is in multiple locations, the taxpayer must provide an address for the location where the sum of personal property acquisition costs is greatest.
For further personal property guidance, please refer to the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF).

Forms

Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals

Porter County has a 3 voting-member Board. The County Assessor serves as secretary and a non-voting member.

Members

  • Scott Williams, President
  • Nancy Kolasa, Vice President
  • Tami Bianco, Member
  • Jon M. Snyder, Secretary

2020 Meeting Dates

Meetings are held in the Porter County Administration Building Room 205, Commissioners Chambers, and begin at 8:30 am. Time and location are subject to change.

Tax Exemptions

The owner of the property who wishes to obtain an exemption must file State Form 9284 / Form 136 with the County Assessor. The owner must provide all information requested on the application and accompanying information sheet. There is no filing fee.

This application/form must be filed on or before April 1 of the assessment year and must be re-filed every even year unless the exempt property is owned, occupied, and used for educational, literary, scientific, religious, or charitable purposes and continues to meet the requirements of IC 6-1.1-10-16 or IC 6-1.1-10-21, or is owned by a fraternity or sorority and continues to meet the requirements of IC 6-1.1-10-24. An application should be filed in any year in which an appeal to the Indiana Board of Tax Review or to a court for an exemption determination on the property is pending from any preceding year.

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Disclaimer
Disclaimer:   The information provided herein is without warranty of any kind. Any person or entity that relies on said information for any purpose whatsoever does so solely at their own risk. Neither Porter County, Indiana, or any agency, offices, or employees of any other information provider warrants the accuracy, reliability, or timeliness of any of the information provided herein.