What's Included in the Local Property Tax Bills by Tax District Tables

These tables show estimates of the tax payments by typical homeowners in every tax district in every Indiana county. The tables show how tax bills are calculated, using the median home value in each county, a measure of the level of assessment, and the property tax and credit rates for 2005.

Go to the Local Property Tax Bills by Tax District Tables:
All Counties, 2005

Contents
Median Home Value, 2000 Census
Assessment-Sales Ratio
Gross Assessed Value
Homestead Deduction
Mortgage Deduction
Net Assessed Value
Tax District
Tax Rate
Gross Tax
PTRC Rate

PTRC
Gross Tax - PTRC
State/Local Homestead Credit Rate
Homestead Credit
Net Tax
Rank Among All 1,960 Districts
Net Tax, Half the Median Home Value
Net Tax, Twice the Median Home Value
Links to More Information

 

Median Home Value, 2000 Census
Every ten years the U.S. Census asks detailed questions of a sample of U.S. residents. One of these questions is about the estimated value of the residents' home. How much does the resident think the home could sell for? The Census then reports the median value for each county. Median is the middle value--half the home values are higher, and half are lower than the median. The tax bill calculations shown in the tables are thus the tax bills for an owner of the median-valued home in the county.

In many counties there has been appreciation in housing prices since 2000. However, the 2002-03 reassessment based assessed values on property values for 1999. That means that the Census median home value is a reasonable starting point for calculating tax bills.

 

Assessment-Sales Ratio
Indiana is now effectively a market value state. That means that the assessed value of property should be equal to its predicted selling price. The state has nearly completed an analysis of how well assessors met the market value standard. This "equalization study" compares assessed values to the actual selling prices of properties that were sold.

The assessment-sales ratio is a basic measure of assessment performance. The equalization study calculates the ratio of the assessed values and sales prices for sold properties. If a property is assessed perfectly, the ratio is one, because the assessment equaled the selling price. If the ratio is less than one, the property was under-assessed. If the ratio is more than one, the property was over-assessed.

The study reports the median assessment-sales ratio for various kinds of properties. The ratio used in the tax bill tables is for single family houses.

Ratios are available for most counties. The equalization studies are not complete for all counties, however. Where no assessment-sales ratio is available, the ratio was assumed to be one, but it is listed as "0.000" in the table, to indicate that the ratio is missing.

 

Gross Assessed Value
Gross assessed value is the median home value times the assessment sales ratio. It is thus the assessed value that the county's assessors would give the median home if it was assessed at the median ratio. This is gross assessed value because it does not include exemptions or deductions for assessed value. See below for "net assessed value."

Assessments are done by the county and township assessors, or private contractors, using rules and standards established by the state's Department of Local Government Finance.

 

Homestead Deduction
Deductions or exemptions (the two words are used interchangeably) are dollar amounts that are subtracted from the gross assessed value of property. The homestead deduction is the biggest deduction available to homeowners. It is $35,000, or 50% of gross assessed value, whichever is smallest. Property is eligible for the homestead deduction if it is a the primary residence, occupied by its owner. This excludes rental property and second homes. The home in the tax bill tables is assumed to be an owner-occupied primary residence.

The homestead deduction was increased from $6,000 to $35,000 for taxes payable in 2003. This was one of the features of tax restructuring that the General Assembly used to protect homeowners from the full effects of reassessment.

 

Mortgage Deduction
Deductions or exemptions (the two words are used interchangeably) are dollar amounts that are subtracted from the gross assessed value of property. Most homeowners qualify for the mortgage deduction. Any person or couple with a mortgage on real property (land or buildings) qualifies. The mortgage deduction subtracts $3,000 from the gross assessed value of the real property. Homes are real property, and since most homeowners have mortgages, most homes have the mortgage deduction. The owner of the home in the tax bill tables is assumed to have a mortgage on the home.

 

Net Assessed Value
Net assessed value is the assessed value that is taxed. It is gross assessed value--the predicted selling price of the property--minus deductions or exemptions. In the tax bill tables, the value of the median home, assessed at the median assessment-sales ratio, is gross assessed value. The calculations assume that the home is owner-occupied (not a rental), a primary residence (not a second home or vacation home), and that the owner has a mortgage. The home qualifies for the homestead and mortgage deductions. These are subtracted from the gross assessed value to get the net assessed value. The property tax rate is applied to the net assessed value.

 

Tax District
A tax district is an area within a county where a set of local government units overlap. A property will be in a county, a township and a school corporation, and may be in a city or town, library district or other special district. Each of these units charge property taxes, so the rate that a taxpayer pays on a property is the sum of all the tax rates of all the overlapping units. Every property in the tax district will be charged that rate. Rates will be different in other tax districts, since these will have different overlapping units.

 

Tax Rate
The tax rate is the sum of the tax rates of the governments in the tax district.  Tax rates are measured in dollars per $100 of assessed value, so they are effectively percentages. 2005 tax rate data were not available for Brown and Lake Counties. 2003 and 2004 rates, respectively, are used instead.

 

Gross Tax
The gross tax is the product of the net assessed value and the tax rate. It is a gross tax because is does not take account of tax credits. Credits are subtracted from the gross tax to get the net tax, which is the tax bill that the taxpayer pays.

The gross tax is the amount that the local governments receive, however. Local government property tax revenues are made up of property tax payments by local taxpayers, and tax credit payments by the state.

 

PTRC Rate
Property Tax Replacement Credits (PTRC) are a state program of tax relief. The PTRC rate is the share of the gross tax that the state will replace with state tax credits. The PTRC rate is multiplied by the gross tax, and the result is subtracted from the gross tax.

PTRC rates are different in every tax district. There are several reasons for these differences. Some of each unit's levy is eligible for PTRC payments, and some is not. The biggest share of the levy not eligible is debt service payments--property taxes collected to repay money borrowed to build new facilities. Tax districts made up of local governments that have a lot of debt service payments tend to have smaller PTRC percentages. Areas with growing populations build new facilities, and often have lower PTRC rates.

Part of the PTRC calculation is based on 60% of the school corporation's general fund property tax levy. Districts where the school corporation tax rate is a larger share of the total rate tend to have larger PTRC percentages. Unincorporated areas--outside of cities or towns--tend to have rates dominated by school corporations, and so tend to have higher PTRC percentages.

The state pays local governments the PTRC amounts out of its budget, to make up for the amount taxpayers don't pay because the credit is subtracted.

 

PTRC
Property Tax Replacement Credits (PTRC) are a state program of tax relief. The PTRC rate is the share of the gross tax that the state will replace with state tax credits. The PTRC rate is multiplied by the gross tax, and the resulting PTRC dollar amount is subtracted from the taxpayer's gross tax. The state replaces the taxes that taxpayers do not pay, by paying credits to local governments out of the state budget.

 

Gross Tax - PTRC
The gross tax minus the property tax replacement credit dollar amount. This is the base for calculating the homestead credit (see below).

 

State/Local Homestead Credit Rate
The homestead credit is a percentage to be subtracted from homeowner tax bills. The percentage is applied to the gross tax after property tax replacement credits are subtracted. Homeowners are eligible for the homestead credit based on the same criteria as the homestead deduction. The home must be an owner-occupied primary residence. No rental property or second homes qualify.

Every tax district has is own homestead credit rate. Credits apply only to a portion of the levies of the overlapping governments in a tax district. As with property tax replacement credits, debt service levies are not eligible. Districts with units that have high debt service levies tend to have lower homestead credit rates. In addition, some counties fund additional homestead credits out of local income tax revenue. Such counties tend to have higher homestead credit rates.

The state replaces the property taxes that taxpayers do not pay to local governments because of the homestead credit. The credit payments come from the state's budget. Local homestead credit replacement dollars come from local income tax collections.

 

Homestead Credit
This is the dollar amount of the homestead credit, which is the product of the homestead credit rate and the gross tax less PTRC. This amount is subtracted from the taxpayer's gross tax payments. The state replaces this revenue by making payments out of its budget to local governments.

 

Net Tax
The net tax is the gross tax less the property tax replacement and homestead credits. The net tax is the tax bill that taxpayers pay.

 

Rank Among All 1,960 Districts
This is a measure of how high or low homeowner taxes are in the taxing district. There were 1,960 tax districts in the 92 Indiana counties in 2005. District net tax (tax bills) for the median homeowner are ranked from highest to lowest. Low numbers mean the homeowners in this district pay high taxes relative to the rest of the state. High numbers mean the homeowners in this district pay low taxes relative to the rest of the state. Numbers less than 980 put the district in the top half of tax payments. Numbers less than 654 put the district in the top third.

 

Net Tax, Half the Median Home Value and Net Tax, Twice the Median Home Value
Half the homes in a county will have values below the median, and half will have values above. The higher the home value, the greater the tax bill. These two figures give a range of tax bills which will include most of the homeowners in a county. Each is a result of the same calculations used on the median home value. The median home value is divided by two or multiplied by two. The result is multiplied by the assessment-sales ratio, and the deductions are subtracted to get the net assessed value. Remember that the homestead deduction is capped at 50% of gross assessed value, so the lower valued home will probably receive a homestead credit of less than $35,000.

The net assessed values are multiplied by the tax rate, the credits are subtracted, and the result is the net tax or tax bill for a home with half the county median home value, or twice the county median home value.

 

Links to More Information
To Find: Go To:
U.S. Census data on median home values in Indiana counties, 2000 U.S. Bureau of the Census web site: Indiana QuickFacts (select a county, scroll down to "median value of owner-occupied housing units")
The Indiana property tax equalization study, which reports the median assessment-sales ratios for Indiana counties Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute web site: IFPI Property Tax Equalization Study Information
Tax rates, PTRC rates and homestead credit rates for all tax districts in Indiana, 2005 and earlier years Department of Local Government Finance website: Tax Rates
Topics pages describing the property assessment and tax billing in Indiana, from a homeowner's point of view This website: The Taxpayer and the Property Tax