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August 6, 2021

Property Tax Shortfalls are Common. Here’s how to Recover the Revenue.

A common occurrence amongst cities, towns, counties, and townships is that they often do not receive the full amount of property tax revenue that was approved in their respective original budgets. This issue can often be resolved, but it requires action on the part of local officials. A comparison between the amount of property tax revenue received and the amount expected in the original budget will typically reveal a discrepancy.  And while there exists a great deal of variance between the amounts associated with such shortfalls, it nevertheless remains prudent to compare how much is actually received to the budget. Unfortunately, a portion of this discrepancy may be due to circuit breaker credits or delinquencies by taxpayers, for which there […]
August 1, 2021

Why do Indiana local officials need to learn about GAAP?

Indiana now requires some cities, towns, and counties to publish financial statements in accordance with GAAP (Generally Accepted Accounting Principles). Other units may also benefit by preparing GAAP statements on a voluntary basis. IC 5-1-11.5-4* requires GAAP financial reporting for large counties, cities, and towns that issue bonds. This requirement applies to counties with populations in excess of 100,000 and cities and towns with populations greater than 75,000.  How does GAAP differ from the traditional Indiana accounting practices that were developed over the years by fiscal officers and the State Board of Accounts?  The traditional system focuses on appropriations and claims only one year at a time. Little attention is directed at the future. GAAP builds on that system by […]
December 11, 2020

2020 Tax Rates per Civil City

City Tax Rate Rank Bluffton Civil City  0.5508  1 Rising Sun Civil City 0.6009 2 Woodburn Civil City  0.6154 3 Greenwood Civil City  0.6558  4 Rensselaer Civil City  0.6683 5 Batesville Civil City  0.6941 6 Fishers Civil City 0.7115 7 Crown Point Civil City 0.7287 8 Lawrence Civil City 0.7449 9 Southport Civil City  0.7751 10 Westfield Civil City  0.7779 11 Carmel Civil City  0.7877 12 Loogootee Civil City  0.7979 13 Lebanon Civil City  0.8205 14 Jasper Civil City 0.845 15 Columbia City Civil City  0.8788 16 Bloomington Civil City 0.8978  17 Greenfield Civil City  0.9083 18 West Lafayette Civil City  0.9204  19 Rochester Civil City 1.0067  20 Auburn Civil City  1.024 21 Gas City Civil City  1.0395 22 Scottsburg […]
June 5, 2020

The COVID-19 Pandemic will Affect Township Income Tax Revenue in Some Strange Ways.

It is obvious the shut-downs prompted by the pandemic will cut peoples incomes and therefore reduce income tax revenue to townships. However, the timing of the effect is not obvious. For example, in 2020, the pandemic should not affect township income tax revenue at all.  That is because 2020 local income tax (LIT) has already been certified for 2020. Townships will continue to receive 2020 LIT distributions as if there had been no pandemic. Also, surprisingly, 2021 LIT distributions should not be affected either.  Under current law, the 2021 LIT distributions will be certified based on 2019 tax returns processed by the Indiana Department of Revenue through June 30, 2020.  Since these returns are for 2019, before any shut-downs, the […]