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Bill Watch, March 20, 2015: Current Real Estate & Land Use Legislation of Note - Real Estate and Land Use News

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Real Estate and Land Use News


Posted on: Mar 20, 2015

The IndyBar Legislative Committee is currently monitoring the following real estate and land use related legislation. IndyBar members can request that the Legislative Committee track specific legislation by contacting committee chair Lawren Mills at lawren.mills@icemillerstrategies.com.

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SB436    STATE AND LOCAL TAXATION. (HERSHMAN B) 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 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. 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 for purposes of the March 1, 2015, assessment date, the statewide agricultural land base rate value per acre used to determine the value of agricultural land is $2,050 per acre (the base rate used for the 2014 assessment date). Urges the legislative council to assign to a study committee the issue of alternative means of agricultural land assessment. 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. Removes the provision specifying that the statute governing the assessment of agricultural land does not apply to land purchased for residential uses. Specifies the method of valuing certain special purpose properties and sale-leaseback properties. Provides that the market value-in-use of special purpose properties and sale-leaseback properties is equal to the value derived from applying the cost approach. 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 property tax assessment board of appeals (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 Indiana board of tax review and to the Indiana tax court. 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 county board and in any appeals taken to the Indiana board of tax review or to the Indiana tax court. Authorizes the department of local government finance (DLGF) to increase the maximum property tax levy of Brown Township, Jackson Township, and Blue River Township in Hancock County if the township submits a petition to the DLGF requesting the increase. Specifies the maximum increase that may be granted. Permits Brown County to impose an additional property tax levy of $478,115 each year in 2016 and 2017. Increases the maximum amount of tax increment that may be captured by a certified technology park, in the case of a certified technology park that is operating jointly by multiple redevelopment commissions. 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.

SB531    VARIOUS TAX SALE MATTERS. (HEAD R) Makes numerous changes to the tax sale statute, including the following: (1) Provides that a purchaser of real property by an installment land contract may request notice of the tax sale list. (2) Adds an alternative provision for a county executive to transfer a tax sale property to a nonprofit entity. For purposes of these provisions, defines the "county executive" of Marion County to mean the board of commissioners (consisting of the county auditor, county treasurer, and county assessor). (3) Provides that a county treasurer may use money held on a person's behalf in the tax sale surplus fund to pay property taxes and special assessments that become due during the tax sale redemption period. (4) Provides that a court may consider a petition for a tax deed without conducting a hearing if there are not any written objections filed. (5) Provides that the amount required for redemption of property includes all taxes, assessments, interest, and penalties that are delinquent after the sale. Provides that a political subdivision may conduct an electronic auction of surplus real property held by the political subdivision. Repeals the following: (1) A provision authorizing a county to adopt an ordinance allowing a county auditor to accept a bid that is less than the minimum bid normally required by the tax sale statute. (2) A provision requiring the state board of accounts to specify a form of tax deed to use when a grantee other than a purchaser takes the tax deed. (3) Several provisions that specify what action to take if the tax deed is ineffectual to convey title to tax sale property. (4) A provision specifying how a grantee of a tax deed recovers money owed to the grantee in the context of an action to quiet title filed by the grantee. (5) An obsolete provision that allowed a county to adopt an ordinance requiring the county treasurer to waive certain penalties and interest on delinquent property taxes. Makes conforming changes.

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