County homeowners: complete tax form

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Most taxpayers in Switzerland County have already received or will soon be receiving a property tax bill. Switzerland County auditor Rachel A. Schuler says that property owners should pay close attention to the piece of paper that accompanies the bill.

Pink could save you lots of green.

The pink form is the “Homestead Verification Form”, and it must be completed if homeowners want to continue receiving the benefit of the Homestead deduction – the most commonly used property tax deduction in Indiana.

Individuals or married couples claiming the Homestead deduction must provide the last five digits of their driver’s license and Social Security numbers. This information will be placed in a secure database which will enable all county auditors in Indiana to cross check names, identifying those who may be claiming a Homestead deduction in more than one county.

The Homestead deduction allows homeowners who use a property as a primary residence to qualify for a reduction of up to 60-percent of the initial gross assessed value, plus up to an additional 35-percent of the remaining assessed value.

Additionally, it is through the Homestead deduction that county assessors and auditors identify which taxpayers receive the benefit of the one percent property tax cap.

Specific questions about property tax deduction eligibility or the Homestead verification form should be directed to the county auditor’s office, which is open Monday through Wednesday and on Friday from 8 a.m. until 3:30 p.m.; and on Thursday from 8 a.m. until noon. The auditor’s phone number is 427-4470.

Tax bills were mailed on Friday, March 26th, according to Rachel Schuler and County Treasurer Stacy Penick, and tax bills are due on May 10th.