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Information On Filing Personal Property Forms

Businesses and farms exempt from personal property taxes next year should make sure to comply with new state filing requirements -- or else face a penalty. Under state legislation adopted last year, taxpayers with up to $20,000 in total personal property acquisition costs in each county will be exempt from personal property taxes, for taxes payable in 2017.

As the law now stands, affected taxpayers must file a notarized certification with the Assessor's Office prior to May 15 each year. If they do not, the County Auditor's office must apply a $25 penalty on the next tax installment. For more information on the new personal property exemption rules, see this Indiana Department of Local Government Finance memo.

  • A letter from

    Jon Snyder

    I hope that you will find the information on this site useful. Our staff is always working hard to serve the assessing...

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    • Jon M. Snyder This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      Porter County Assessor

    • Jean Swanson This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      Chief Deputy

    • Mary Dambek This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      Director of Commercial Operations

    • Peggy Hendron This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

      Residential Real Estate Supervisor

  • Located approximately 40 miles southeast of Chicago, Porter County, Indiana is an amazing place to live, work and raise a family. The beautiful Lake Michigan shoreline, the dunes of the National Lakeshore, countless parks, thriving cities, top universities and bountiful farmland make Porter County a community of choice.

Urschel Pavilion, Porter County Indiana

Where We Stand - The Great Lakes Basin Rail Line

Seeing the proposal for the new rail line through southern Porter County caused me to think deeply about the impact that this proposal would have on local government. With my unique perspective as an assessor-appraiser, I am naturally drawn to the impact that this proposed rail line will have on assessed valuation in Porter County.

That being said, a proposed rail line in southern Porter County will have a negative impact upon the assessed valuation within the county. 

In other words, simply having the rail line run through southern Porter County will decrease the total assessed valuation for the county, thereby increasing the burden upon the remaining taxpayers, such as homeowners and small business owners. There are (4) reasons I believe this to be true.

First, the property of the railroad itself is assessed by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, and NOT the local assessor. While I was advocating for the taxpayers in relation to the new Porter Regional Hospital, the state of Indiana attempted to direct an assessment of the facility at a value much less than its true market value. Downstate lobbyists continue to convince the Legislature to take more control of your local assessor’s duties. The state now assesses steel mills, local utilities and railroads. The assessor has no legitimate way to appeal the state’s assessment of these facilities.

Second, the personal property of railroads, including rail cars, inventory, engines, and the like, are captured by the Indiana Department of Revenue into the Commuter/Electric Rail Service Fund, and this money DOES NOT go to local government to pay for schools, police, fire, and other necessary services. This money goes to pay for rail-related functions only, in a similar way that the money from a tax increment finance district does, in the sense that this revenue does not go to pay the costs of local government; rather, a railroad’s tax dollars only go to pay for self-serving interests of the railroad itself.

Third, the imposition of the rail line in southern Porter County will have an adverse impact on the assessed value of surrounding properties. Prospective purchasers of real estate will obviously pay less for property adjacent to a noisy freight line. When property becomes worthless, its assessed valuation is less, and therefore increases the tax burden on the remaining property owners.

Fourth, a rail line in southern Porter County will thwart development in the southern two (2) quadrants of Porter County. Inhibiting development will devalue the assessed valuation of Porter County.

For these reasons, I am strongly opposed to the imposition of the rail line in southern Porter County. We have to plan responsibly for the future growth and development of our county, and this rail line is an obstacle to both progress and growth.


Jon Snyder
Porter County Assessor

You can view and download a PDF version of this letter by clicking here.

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155 Indiana Avenue, Suite 211 
Valparaiso, Indiana 46383

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