Authors: Senator Brandt Hershman, Senator Pete Miller, Senator Jeff Raatz
Co-authors: Senator John Broden, Senator Eric Bassler, Senator James Merritt
Sponsors: Representative Timothy Brown
Co-Sponsors: Representative Robert Cherry, Representative Donna Schaibley, Representative Todd Huston
Advisors: Senator Pete Miller, Senator Jean Breaux, Senator Douglas Eckerty, Senator Jean Leising, Senator Eric Bassler
Provides that if a taxpayer has personal property subject to assessment in more than one township in a county or has personal property that is subject to assessment and that is located in two or more taxing districts within the same township, the taxpayer shall file a single tax return with the county assessor. Provides that a personal property return notice must be filed with the county assessor, and not the township assessor, of the county in which the owner resides when the personal property is located in a different county. Provides a property tax exemption for taxpayers with less than $20,000 of total business personal property in a county. Removes the requirement in current law that such an exemption is effective in a county only if adopted by the county income tax council. Requires, for the $20,000 personal property exemption, that the owner's certification be notarized and signed under penalties for perjury. Extends the expiration date of the law specifying the value of outdoor signs through the 2018 assessment date. Specifies that for purposes of property tax assessment, certain land is considered to be devoted to agricultural use. Specifies that "agricultural use" includes certain uses defined as agricultural uses for purposes of planning and zoning law. Provides that the soil productivity factors used for the March 1, 2011, assessment of agricultural land must be used for the March 1, 2015, assessment date. Specifies that new soil productivity factors shall be used for assessment dates occurring after March 1, 2015. Provides that the statewide agricultural land base rate value per acre for the 2015 assessment date is $2,050 (the base rate used for the 2014 assessment date). Provides that for the 2016 assessment date and each assessment date thereafter, the statewide agricultural land base rate value per acre is equal to the base rate value for the immediately preceding assessment date, multiplied by the assessed value growth quotient. Removes the provision specifying that the statute governing the assessment of agricultural land does not apply to land purchased for residential uses. Specifies conditions for valuing big box retail properties and commercial nonincome producing real property for property tax purposes and excludes multi-tenant income producing shopping centers from both provisions. Requires the Indiana board of tax review (IBTR) to recommend that the parties settle or mediate any case pending before the board as of May 1, 2015, that has not yet received a hearing if certain conditions apply. Urges the legislative council to assign to a study committee the topic of studying the need for a definition of the term "utility of the user" under the current property tax assessment system. Specifies that in the case of a change occurring after February 28, 2015, in the classification of real property, the assessor has the burden of proving that the change is correct in any review or appeal heard by the property tax assessment board of appeals (county board) and in any appeals taken to the IBTR or to the Indiana tax court. Allows county assessors to apply negative influence factors to determine the assessed value of land classified as residential excess land. Provides that the basement of a dwelling or other building that is situated in a special flood hazard area as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency is exempt from property taxation if: (1) the basement floor level has been elevated to mitigate the risk of flooding; and (2) as a result, the basement is rendered unusable as living space. Specifies that, to be eligible for a homestead deduction for property that an individual is buying under contract, the contract must obligate the owner to convey title to the individual upon completion of all of the individual's contract obligations. Provides that on the form forwarded by the assessor to the county auditor and the county board after a preliminary informal meeting with a taxpayer, the assessor must attest that the assessor described to the taxpayer the taxpayer's right to a review of the issues by the county board and the taxpayer's right to appeal to the IBTR and to the Indiana tax court. Provides that for property tax appeals for the 2014 assessment date, or before, a county auditor may pay refund claims greater than $100,000 over a period of five years (through 2019) by using credits against future property taxes owed on the property. Authorizes a county fiscal body to adopt an ordinance to allow political subdivisions and local agencies within the county to use a uniform property tax disclosure form. Specifies the information that must be disclosed on the form. Provides that the department of local government finance (DLGF) shall: (1) review the tax rates and levies for each fire protection territory whose establishment was effective not later than July 1, 2012; (2) make recommendations to the participating units concerning their existing tax rates and tax levies; and (3) report its findings and recommendations to the legislative council. Deletes the requirement that a county may impose the motor vehicle license excise surtax only at the same rate or amount on each motor vehicle. Authorizes counties to: (1) impose the surtax at the same rate or amount on each motor vehicle; or (2) impose the surtax at one or more different rates based on the class of vehicle (passenger vehicles, motorcycles, trucks with a declared gross weight that does not exceed 11,000 pounds, and motor driven cycles). Does the following in the case of a certified technology park that is operating jointly by multiple redevelopment commissions: (1) Increases the total maximum amount of tax increment that may be captured by the certified technology park. (2) Authorizes a party to the agreement to allocate a part of the maximum amount that may be deposited in the party's incremental tax financing fund to one or more other parties to the agreement. Provides that a redevelopment commission may enter into a written agreement with a taxpayer in which the taxpayer waives review of any assessment of the taxpayer's tangible property that is located in an allocation area. Urges the legislative council to assign to a study committee the issue of alternative means of agricultural land assessment. Provides that for purposes of the provisions in current law concerning: (1) the designation of a township as distressed; (2) the requiring of a separate township assistance benefits levy and a separate township assistance administration levy; and (3) the transfer of municipal territory to an adjacent township after a referendum; those provisions apply to a township if the township's township assistance property tax rate is more than the result of the statewide average township assistance property tax rate for the preceding year (rather than for the current year, under existing law) multiplied by 12. Urges a legislative study of methods used to determine the true tax value for nonincome producing commercial property.