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Rethinking the Administrative Structure of Indiana’s Property Tax System

Jeff Wuensch and Frank Kelly

Janeiro 2002, inglês

Since the 1998 landmark decision by the Indiana State Supreme Court overturning the state’s assessment manuals, several significant steps have been taken by the state to meet the constitutional requirement of a “uniform and equal” assessment system. Most notable were the adoption of market-derived assessment manuals and adoption of stringent equalization requirements. Unfortunately, policy makers have ignored the fact that new assessment manuals and equalization standards, either individually or collectively, will not produce uniform and equitable assessments both within and between property classes and local assessing districts. It will also require the proper application of the state’s new valuation and equalization requirements by the state’s 1,100 locally elected assessors and two state oversight agencies. Moreover, this working paper explores whether the current administrative structures, both at the local and state levels, are conducive to attaining the state’s ultimate goal of providing for a more uniform assessment system. The authors make several recommendations to improving the administrative structure of the local property tax in Indiana, including reducing the number of local assessing districts, enhancing the state’s assessor training program, adopting pre- and post-election requirements for local assessors, and creating independent state oversight agencies.


Estimativa, Governo Local, Tributação Imobiliária