St. Joe County officials host town hall to talk about property taxes
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - Are you worried about your property taxes?
The St. Joseph County Assessor’s Office and Auditor’s Office are here to help.
People gathered at the County-City Building Thursday to learn more about the appeals process.
“You know people get upset about their property taxes, it goes up and I don’t think they necessarily understand that the current system is based off of the market...I will say that in comparison to our neighboring states, like Illinois and some of the other states, property taxes here are relatively low,” said Castellon.
The department said they want to make sure people are fully informed about the appeals process.
“It’s single-handily the most important tool in the taxpayer’s toolbox, for a lack of better words, to help them voice their opinion, and it helps the assessor, you know if there’s an anomaly in the market that that we can’t see, the appeal process will bring that to light,” said Castellon.
One resident said her property taxes keep going up. She claims it is because investors are buying homes in her neighborhood.
“Pretty soon, we are going to be driven out of our homes. Like, my property taxes keep going up two-hundred dollars every year I can’t forward. And when I sell it, who is going to buy it? Not somebody who is going to live there,” said Resident Mary Aragon.
Appeals help the department take a closer look at properties.
St. Joe County Assessor Mike Castellon said appeals went up last year but now they are dropping.
“But this year, the appeals are coming in quite low. Right now, we are about 2,000 appeals...Well, I think the market has caught up. The assessment has caught up to the market. We’re not seeing as many homes sell,” said Castellon.
He said he wants to make sure the process is fair.
The department is also working on a new program called ENGAGE, which will be an online tool to make the appeals process easier moving forward.
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