Frequently Asked Questions

To go immediately to a given section, select from the list below: 

Exemptions  Personal Property RealEstate 
Assessment Database Sales Disclosures Database Assessor Terms


  1. Who is on the Property Tax Board of Appeals?

    The Property Tax Board of Appeals is composed of the County Assessor, who serves as secretary, and three appointed members. Click here for more information on the Property Tax Board of Appeals.

  2. What is this trending thing I keep hearing about?

    Trending, or annual adjustment, is a way for assessing officials to verify that assessed value is truly reflective of market value in use. Trending comes from a legislative mandate and began with the 2006 pay 2007 tax year. Trending may raise or lower an assessment based on the sales in a given area and is meant to lessen the "sticker shock" of a general reassessment.

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Exemptions 

  1. I know there has been talk lately about churches and exemptions. What are the guidelines for tax exempt status?

    For more information, please click here.

  2. I am a board member of a not-for profit and we're considering leasing some of our space. Do you have any information on whether this would impact our exempt status?

    As a guideline, the following article recently appeared:
    Indiana Property Taxes and the Leasing of Property by Tax-Exempt Organizations,by Randal J. Kaltenmark, Res Gestae, The Journal of the Indiana State Bar Association, November/December 1998, Vol. 42, Nos. 5/6.
    It would be prudent to consult an attorney with your concerns.

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  Personal Property 

  1. I just set up a business and believe I need to file paperwork on personal property. How do I find out more about that?

    Contact the appropriate County Assessor's office for information. 
     
  2. My company filed its return and included the purchase price of the building on the return! How do I correct this expensive error?

    You can file an amended return with the appropriate township assessor along with all verifying documents following the guidelines of IC 6-1.1-3-7.5
     
  3. I did not file a personal property return and received a "113-PP assessment" notice from the assessor. What is happening?

    The assessor and staff continually receive information on new businesses from various sources. These include the telephone book, newspaper notices, lists from the secretary of state showing new businesses, and just plain driving around the township looking for new activity. Follow up with your assessor by providing information on costs of equipment. 
     
  4. I am a salesman for my company and we have no inventory or equipment located in the county. All we have is a telephone number. Do we need to file a personal property return?

    No. The company has no assets to report. However, if the company maintains assets of any kind, even catalogs for distribution, these items may be assessable. Contact the County Assessor for more information. 
     
  5. My company began operations in August and was not in existence on January 1. We did buy some stuff but sold it before the end of the year. Do we owe taxes for that year?

    No. If the company continues in business through next January, a return must be filed.

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Real Estate 

  1. My assessment is accurate, but my property taxes are too high! What can I do?

    There are several exemptions available to homeowners: mortgage, homestead, veterans, and old age, among others. Check with the 
    County Auditor's office. To learn more. Also, inform the Mayor, the city council, the county council, and the school board. These are the government bodies that spend your property tax dollars. Let them know the burden that their decisions are causing for you. Lowering the spending of tax dollars will lower your tax bill.

     

  2. I read about new businesses coming to our community and receiving abatement from property tax. This is unfair to existing businesses! Is anything being done to help local, established business?

    Yes! Assessors frequently apply a sort of tax credit called "obsolescence" to reduce an assessment. The applicability of obsolescence is broad in scope. Businesses frequently qualify for economic hardship reasons, but factors less related to income are eligible. Among others, these factors can include disfunction of a manufacturing structure which causes excessive product handling costs. If you feel your business qualifies, you should contact the County Assessor prior to a reassessment, or file an appeal (Form 130) in the period between reassessments. To learn more about abatements, contact theDepartment of Metropolitan Development.

     

  3. How do I know which township I am in?

    There are eight townships in Vanderburgh County, and there are two ways to find your township. The first is to find your address in our street guide. Also, the last three digits of your parcel number indicate the township or taxing district. Click here to find the taxing district descriptions.

     

  4. I've heard the term tax code, parcel number, and PIN used. What is the difference?

    There is no difference, all of those terms refer to the same thing. It is a unique identifier assigned to each property.

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Assessment Database

 

  1. I'm confused. I'm looking at the record for my house and see the abbreviation "stco" -- Huh??

    This is one of the many abbreviations used to describe the materials used in a building, in this particular case, "stucco." More of these abbreviations, along with tips for searching the database, have been compiled in one spot. Let us know if you have other questions!

     

  2. My neighborhood has an "F" rating. Is this like a grade you'd get in school, where an "F" means "Fail"?! I think the neighborhood is very nice. It's quiet and well-maintained. So I can't imagine it deserving the worst grade possible. I'm hoping that means that something else.

    In this case the "F" means "Fair." The neighborhood desirability rating is one of the many elements used to assess a property.

     

  3. I typed in three addresses, and received the first one, but the database kept telling me that the other two addresses were not valid or that it could not locate either address in the database. However, when I searched using only the street names the database located the both addresses immediately. Do you have any suggestions for searching addresses?

    If possible, search by parcel ID number. Otherwise, when searching by address, make sure that you spell the street name correctly. If you are in doubt whether you are searching for a street, avenue, boulevard, etc., simply leave out that part of the address. (Example: 7400 Walnut Street becomes 7400 Walnut).

    Also, if you are searching on a property that includes a double lot, and you are not able to find the property, try searching on the other address. For instance, if you can't find 417 Alvord, and you are aware that the property has a vacant lot next door, try searching on either 413 or 419 Alvord. Sometimes a property may be listed by the address of the vacant lot.

     

  4. Why do the commercial properties on the property database not show square footage, story height, and type of construction?

    Unfortunately, the file extract program which pulls data from the assessor's database is unable to retrieve this information at this time. We are working on updateing the extract program and more Commercial Information is available. If this information is important to you, please call the assessor during business hours. It will speed the process if you have the parcel identification number when you call. This number is displayed on the general information tab of the property details search page within the database.

     

  5. Sometimes the search will not show results when I type in an address I just know is right. What is happening?

    The address you are using may not be the same address used by the assessor. It is possible the building was built on several lots and the post office address is not the same address assigned by the assessor. If you own this property and wish to change the address the assessor is using, call the assessor during business hours.

     

  6. I conducted a search on a commercial property and the "year built" on the property is not the year I know the property was constructed. Can you explain this result?

    The year built is often an "effective" year of construction. Many buildings are added onto over the years. The assessor will average the age of the various parts of the building to arrive at an "effective" year of construction for the entire structure. If you need more specific information about the various dates of construction, call the County Assessor. It is helpful to have the parcel identification number on hand for this call.

    It is also possible the assessor's records are incorrect. In this case, call the County Assessor and make arrangements to correct the record. You may be asked to provide proof of age.

     

  7. How often is the database brought current?

    The townships enter the data routinely onto the central server and we copy and update that data weekly. If you have any suggestions for improvement, please e-mail us at assessor@vanderburghgov.org.

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Sales Disclosures

 

  1. My search on a sale brought up the record I wanted. When I clicked and pulled up the property record card information, the owner is not who I thought it should be. Why is that?

    The property record card may show the owner for tax purposes for the prior tax year. Do not rely on the information shown on the search results for legal purposes. A title search is the most reliable method to verify ownership. Contact the title company of your choice to arrange a title search.

     

  2. How far back do these records go?

    Sales disclosures for April 19, 1996 and forward are available for non-exempt properties. Exempt disclosures are available beginning in late 1999.

     

  3. Why is this information being released? When I sold my house, I was told this information was required, but that it would be confidential!

    The law has changed. The records are now considered public information regardless of when the property was sold. No explanation for this change was given to the assessing community. As of January 1, 2005, all telephone numbers and social security numbers are now confidential on the sales disclosure form.

     

  4. I need help understanding how this web site works. Who do I contact?

    Send email to assessor@vanderburghgov.org or telephone 812-435-5267 during business hours.

     

  5. I entered a sales search and it found no records, why not?

    The property may not have sold since 1996, may have been an exempt sale, the sales disclosure form may not have been filed with the county to date, or the record is being processed and will be available soon.

     

  6. What is the best way to enter an address?

    For example, enter 1200 Washington not 1200 Washington Avenue or even just 1200. All sales for any street with an address of 1200 will be returned. The search engine uses the first word or number entered in the address field as the primary search key and the second word or number as secondary.

     

  7.  Is it possible to view the electronic images of the actual disclosure forms?

    This is not possible from the internet, however these images are available in the county assessor's office.

     

  8. In what order are the search results displayed?

    They are displayed in tax code order.

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