If you believe the assessment on your property is excessive or in error, one of two methods can be used to initiate the appeal process. Each of these is discussed below. It should be noted that real property and personal property taxes paid in a given year are based on the assessed value as of March 1 of the previous year. So, for example, taxes payable in 1997 are based on the March 1, 1996, assessed value.
Form 133 (PETITION FOR CORRECTION OF AN ERROR):
This form is filed when the taxpayer feels there was a factual error made in the assessment (e.g., the square footage was incorrect or the number of bathrooms was wrong). This form is relatively simple and can be approved on the recommendation of two of the following three county officials: the appropriate township assessor, the county assessor, and the county auditor.
The form must be filed with the Vanderburgh County Auditor.
Deadlines for appeals using a Form 133: This form may only be used to correct errors in assessment up to three years prior to the current assessment date. For example, prior to March 1, 1999, a taxpayer may file Form 133's for 1996, 1997 and 1998.
In the event the appeal is not approved, the Form 133 will be referred to the Property Tax Board of Appeals. The taxpayer would be notified of the date and time the Board will hear the appeal and has the option of attending that meeting. In any event, a written determination will be sent once the Board reaches a decision.
If the taxpayer is not satisfied with the Property Tax Board of Appeals' determination, he can appeal to the Department of Local Government Finance by filing the denied 133 with the County Auditor. This must be done no more than 30 days after the date of the written determination.
Users may now download a Form 133.
Form 130 (PETITION TO THE COUNTY PROPERTY TAX BOARD OF APPEALS FOR REVIEW OF ASSESSMENT):
The Form 130 is the most versatile method to appeal one's assessment because it allows a taxpayer to question any aspect of the assessment. The Form 130 must be filed within 45 days of the date that appears on the Notice of Assessment (Form 11). The form is filed with the County Assessor.
The County Assessor reviews all appeals for errors, with incomplete forms being returned to the taxpayer or his representative. Properly completed appeals are forwarded to the appropriate township. The taxpayer must verify the grounds for appeal through documentation (e.g., reports, photographs, affidavits, oral testimony).
The township assessor will set a meeting with the taxpayer to review the issues. A member of the staff of the county assessor may attend this meeting.
The taxpayer and the township are expected to work toward resolution of the issues on appeal. If resolution is reached, the Property Tax Board of Appeals will issue a final determination based on that agreement.
In the event of failure to reach resolution between taxpayer and township, the petition will be set for hearing at the Property Tax Board of Appeals.
A hearing officer will meet with the taxpayer and township to resolve the dispute. The hearing officer will then make a recommendation to the Property Tax Board of Appeals. For more information on the Property Tax Board of Appeals, click here.
At a public hearing which the taxpayer is encouraged to attend, the Board will evaluate the matter, hear evidence from the taxpayer, and vote on the appeal. A final determination will then be sent to the taxpayer, who has the option of appealing to the Department of Local Government Finance within 45 days of notice of the Property Tax Board of Appeals' decision. Later appeals may be taken to the State Tax Court and to the Indiana Supreme Court.