Changes in Elkhart County property assessment values

With the real estate market still in a tough spot, it's not too unusual for landowners to get be a little surprised by their property assessment values.

But for Elkhart County residents the shock factor is not a result of the economy, but because of changes in the way property is assessed.

More than half of residential property owners saw decreased assessments this year, according to our reporting partners at the Elkhart Truth.

The state issued new cost tables this year changing what the county charges per square foot for various add-ons, like patios and detached garages.

The depreciation schedule also changed. They're now depreciated from 2012 instead of 2009. Landowners also saw fluctuations in property values. It was the county's first time using aerial maps to classify land. That meant some plots were reclassified from farming to residential, or vice versa.

The county hired an outside firm this year to get more accurate assessments, from the Indiana Assessment Services in Rochester.

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