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Indiana - Appeal Backlog Mounts in Marion County

by Morgan Thomas, Chicago, May 2012

The May 30, 2012 appeal deadline for 2011 property taxes (payable 2012) is fast approaching in Marion County. However, thousands of property owners are still waiting for an answer to the appeals they filed several years ago.


What's the Hold Up?


Assessment appeals started backing up following the 2006 revaluation of all 360,000 properties in Marion County. Appeals came in faster than they could be processed and the problem grew exponentially each year. As of early April 2012, the assessor's office listed 29,644 active appeals that have not been resolved.


Another part of the problem is the fact that the assessor's office has lost 10 positions due to budget cuts in the last 12 months.


Things May Get Worse


A statewide revaluation in 2013 could exacerbate the appeal backlog.


"Every year, we see between 2% and 5% of cases appealed. In Marion County, that represents anywhere from 7,000-18,000 new appeals," said Assessor Joseph O'Connor. "With the reassessment, we expect that to be on the high end, or 18,000 new appeals."


There is one concession for taxpayers waiting years for their appeal to be decided. O'Connor says all successful appeals come with a 4% annual interest payment.