STATEHOUSE – A bill addressing concerns regarding LaPorte County’s property tax situation was signed into law by the governor. State Rep. Tom Dermody (R-LaPorte) authored House Bill (HB) 1261 which will go into effect on April 10, 2013.
“With 91 out of 92 counties up-to-date on their property taxes, it is time that LaPorte County joins the rest of the state on this issue,” said Rep. Dermody. “In hopes of resolving this situation by 2014, I have authored House Bill 1261 to protect LaPorte County taxpayers by offering flexible repayment options and plans, while incentivizing individuals to make early or on-time payments.”
The legislation seeks to protect LaPorte County homeowners by authorizing the Department of Local Government Finance to delay the payment of tax bills imposed for the March 1, 2012 or Jan. 15, 2013 assessment dates. In addition, the bill creates a 2 percent discount for those that pay their property taxes on time. If payments are not met in the allotted time, the bill creates an additional 12 month period before allowing property to go up for public auction.
Another facet of HB 1261 aims to expand the payment options for a county’s local fiscal body. It provides them the opportunity to select between two payments plans on property tax or special assessment bills. The plans must be adopted before the bills are mailed and they consist of; allowing repayment to occur over six months in equal portions or by making a single payment at the end of six month period.
HB 1261 was drafted in response to an ongoing property tax situation occurring in LaPorte County. In 2012, the county’s property taxpayers were advised they had a limited amount of time to pay their 2007 tax bills.
To help alleviate the financial burden on the taxpayers, Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 19 was drafted and later amended by Rep. Dermody in 2012 which gave the county council the authority to allow taxpayers six months to submit their payments or set up a payment plan. The amendment also made payments more accommodating requiring the county treasurer to accept debit or credit card.
“This bill strengthens the layer of protection for taxpayers created by SEA 19, and I will continue to fight to protect taxpayers until this situation is completely resolved,” said Rep. Dermody.
Visit www.in.gov/legislative for more information on HB 1261.