Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tax Bill/Land Values

I received many questions about our recent tax bills - particularly land values - at the Halloween parade. Here's what I know, courtesy of the county assessors office. You have until November 30th. to appeal. The green remarks are mine.

I did go and look at the maps. :)


They would be happy to come to a neighborhood meeting.

Purdue housing area is loosely defined as the relatively small, platted lots (approx 50’x130’) east of Northwestern, west of N.River Rd and South of Meridian St. Previously eight scattered neighborhoods composed the majority of residential housing in this area. These patchwork neighborhoods consist of qualitatively similar houses but land pricing, even for identical lots, was erratic. Each of these eight neighborhoods valued land based on feet of street frontage. Price/front foot ranged from $340-$1250. Some neighborhoods had several front foot base rates. Since these dwellings were similar in age, grade, size and use, the various land pricings caused trending factors for very similar neighborhoods to also fluctuate drastically. For trending to work properly, land must be assessed equitably. Without any information from the previous Wabash Assessors Office or trending contractor GnA, the previous neighborhood distribution was impossible to comprehend and completely inequitable.

To work towards fair and equitable pricing around campus, a map of sales were created and three distinct property groups were defined. There is a group of small, comparatively new houses in the very north east part of campus. They were designated neighborhood 7501 and assigned a $450/FF base rate (Schilling addition). The multi-family dwellings, 520 and 530 classes were separated to their own neighborhood, 7502. The remaining residential parcels were put into another new neighborhood, 7500. Neighborhoods 7500 and 7502 were assigned an equitable $1000/FF land value. Similar use properties around Purdue University are now in coherent delineations with an equitable land pricing mechanism.

The change to $1000/FF created the land increase for many tax payers, previous base rates were as low as $340. The changes shifted a larger portion of the assessed value to land, but the total assessed values are unaffected. Since trending will equalize assessed values to a level determined by sales, the base rate determines the ratio of land to building assessed value. Purdue housing usually couples very desirable land locations with older, more depreciated structures. This explains why the land to building ratio is higher on campus than most of the County.

I am sorry that the answer to this is very technical. We have large maps that do a better job at explaining the situation. I would be happy to speak at a neighborhood association meeting (and bring these maps) and/or schedule meeting if questions persist.

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