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Bill Watch, May 1, 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: May 1, 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

Click here to view the full Bill Watch reports.
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 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. 

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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