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Budget order, final tax rates approved

The Dept. of Local Government Finance certified Harrison County’s 2014 budget order and tax rates on Dec. 27, paving the way for on-time property tax bills. The budget certification puts the county in a position to have the first of two tax installments due on May 10. Harrison County was the 32nd of 92 in the state to receive its 2014 budget order and tax rates.
‘The certification of the budget order and tax rates sets the stage nicely for on-time tax bills for the fifth consecutive year, continuing the predictable administration of the property tax system,’ Micah Vincent, DLGF commissioner, said. ‘A tremendous amount of collaboration between local and state officials is required to ensure property tax bills go out on time, and it is rewarding to see all the efforts pay off.’
The first step in the assessment to tax billing process is the completion of the property assessments, which culminates with the submission of a ratio study. A ratio study is a comparison between property sales prices and assessed values in the county to ensure that market values are being used to determine assessed values. Typically, these should be submitted to the state and approved by May 31, the year prior to tax billing. Harrison County’s ratio study was submitted on April 19, 2013.
Once the DLGF approves the ratio study, the assessor sends the gross assessed values to the county auditor, who applies exemptions, deductions or abatements to determine the net assessed values (the values upon which tax rates are based). That information was statutorily due to the DLGF by Aug. 1, 2013. Harrison County’s certified net assessed values were submitted on Aug. 2.
Now that the 2014 budget has been certified by the DLGF, the county auditor is to calculate tax bills, which the county treasurer should mail to taxpayers no later than April 25.
A copy of the Harrison County budget is available at