The Lake County Assessor and the City of East Chicago, along with its Redevelopment Board of Commissioners have reached a settlement with Ameristar Casino East Chicago to resolve all pending property tax appeals and to set an assessed value for Ameristar’s real property through 2015. This comprehensive settlement assures Lake County a steady stream of tax payments from Ameristar and provides certainty for Ameristar on the assessed values for its Indiana property for the next several years.
The Agreement resolves Ameristar’s real property appeals for the years 2008-11 and determines the assessed value for Ameristar’s real property at $85,000,000 for 2012-2015. The values originally assessed on the Riverboat complex for the years 2008-11 caused Ameristar to appeal the assessment for each of those years contending that the values were actually much lower and seeking refunds totaling approximately $15,500,000, plus interest.
Since Ameristar paid real property taxes on the basis of a substantially higher assessed value for these prior years, the Agreement refunds Ameristar a portion of those payments in the form of a credit of $1,425,000 per year against taxes otherwise payable in 2013-2016. These credits total $5,700,000 which is more than 60% less than the tax refunds Ameristar sought to recoup in the appeals.
Ameristar’s real property includes its riverboat casino, hotel and retail pavilion.
Ameristar has also agreed to dismiss all pending personal property appeals concerning its gaming equipment and not to file a new appeal for tax year 2013. The existing assessments will thus remain in place.
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