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Property taxes going up in SH district

Unless property values have risen since last year, property taxes in Lanesville and North Harrison school districts will remain about the same, but property owners in the South Harrison school district will see an increase of nearly 23 cents per $100 of assessed valuation.
Tax rates vary slightly from township to township due to the differences in the cost of incorporated towns, fire districts and township governments. But the state, county, library and solid waste management rates are the same regardless of where the property is situated, according to a comparison of rates advertised in this week’s newspaper and last year by Harrison County Auditor Pat Wolfe.
In the South Harrison school district, increases include two cents in the general fund (from .5711 cents in 2004 to .59 cents for 2005), nearly 12 cents in the debt service fund (.2797 to .3877), and four cents for capital improvements (.2701 to .3174). Altogether, the rate went up nearly 16 cents for schools in South Harrison, from $1.2565 payable in 2004 to $1.4149 payable this year.
The bulk of the increase, said South Harrison’s director of business operations Carolyn Wallace, is due to the $30 million improvement project underway at the Corydon school campus. A $1.5 million contribution in riverboat funds this year kept the rate from going as high as it otherwise would have, she said.
Taxes to run county government also rose, from nearly 37 cents to more than 43 cents, representing an increase of about six cents per $100 of assessed valuation. The rate for welfare expenses increased four cents while the county general account went up two cents. The rates for other county funds remained basically the same, rising or dropping only fractions of a percent. Added to the school tax rates, that brings South Harrison school district’s increase in Harrison Township to $1.9761, an increase of nearly 23 cents over last year’s rate.
Tax bills in Harrison Township, which is in the South Harrison school district, would total about $1,976 for real estate valued at $100,000. The tax bill won’t be quite that much, though, on a person’s residential property, because the state provides a homestead exemption of up to $35,000 in property values before the full rate kicks in, Wolfe said. Tax bills in northern and central (Lanesville) Harrison County will remain about the same as last year.
There are other exemptions that can lower tax bills, such as discounts for those persons with low incomes who qualify for disabilities or are qualifying veterans or persons over 65. The deadline to file for such exemptions to take effect next year is May 10. Exemptions for 2006 payable in 2007 can be filed anytime before May 10, 2006.
Tax bills payable this year are expected to be mailed the first week in May. The first installment, half the total bill, will be due June 20 and the balance on Nov. 10.
Usually the first installment is due May 10, but this year it’s later because the tax rates were just recently calculated and received back from the state. They were late because all the figures weren’t received until late from Crawford County for property in northern Harrison County, where some property is in the Crawford County school district (basically, property owners who live in the Harrison County side of Milltown, which includes parts of Blue River and Spencer townships).