The Indiana Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) certified Porter County’s 2014 budget order and tax rates on Tuesday.
DLGF also announced the certified levies and rates of all 29 individual taxing units in the county.
In general, tax rates increased throughout the county. Still, more than half of the 11 Duneland districts saw their tax rates lower this year, although only slightly.
Tax rates are computed by dividing the total tax levy by the total net assessed value, which is then divided by 100 to get the rate. If there’s an increase in a levy and a decrease in assessed value, the state will raise the rate.
The Duneland unit with the biggest tax-rate dip was unincorporated Jackson Township. with a .0212 decrease, but the taxing unit whose rate declined the most was Porter Township, with a .0506 drop.
On the other side, Portage City-Westchester claimed the highest rate for the units in the Duneland region with 3.0134, which is a .1191 increase over 2013. The Duneland unit with the biggest jump compared to last year is Chesterton-Westchester. with a .1711 increase, totaling 2.6954.
Two other Chesterton units also had an increase in their rates: Chesterton-Liberty with 2.6242 and Chesterton-Jackson with 2.6072.
In other Duneland municipalities, the Town of Porter saw its rate compute higher than Chesterton’s three units, with 2.8649; while Burns Harbor had a 2.0795 rate and Dune Acres a 2.0591 rate.
Meanwhile, the Duneland School Corporation’s overall rate declined to 1.0817, a .0167 decrease from last year, due to reduced amounts in the debt service and transportation funds. The school referendum fund was certified at its full 22 cents this year.
The state set the Duneland School Corporation’s certified levy at $26.2 million.
Duneland’s certified assessed value is listed at $2.391 billion, which is the highest of any school corporation in the county, followed by Valparaiso Community Schools with $2.062 billion.
Also, the Westchester Public Library system’s certified levy was figured at $2.7 million with a tax rate of .1763. WPL’s tax rate in 2013 was .1686.
At the county level, the state certified the levy for the Porter County General Fund at $32.4 million with a certified budget of $35.7 million, resulting in a tax rate of .3869. The total tax rate for all county budgets--including the jail, cumulative bridge, and CCD funds--is .4537, about .01 lower than last year.
The budget order puts the county’s certified AV at $8.368 billion, compared to $8.421 billion in 2013.
Taxpayers with the homestead credit will see a boost in their credit percentage. This year’s credit is 9.8133 percent, comparable to 9.0485 percent in 2013. It’s the highest the county’s homestead credit rate has been since 2010.
A copy of the Porter County budget is available at www.in.gov/dlgf/2559.htm?WT.cg_n=reportslinks&WT.cg_s=portercounty