Local Reporting on Taxes and Foreclosures in South Bend

by Nick Molnar on July 3, 2006

South Bend Tribune reporter Ed Semmler has written a fairly lengthy article on property values, taxes and foreclosures in South Bend. He proposes much of the recent spike in the number of foreclosures can be attributed to the recent overhaul in the method used to assess property taxes.

He writes that Karen Roush, an area agent who deals with many foreclosures, believes about half of the area’s foreclosures are investor-owned properties that landlords simply walked away from when they became unprofitable.

Semmler includes the response of several city officials, who claim the property taxes will be adjusted even as they restate the benefits of shifting the tax burden away from businesses. They also mention several area initiatives to increase home ownership and spur growth in the area.


{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave July 16, 2006 at 12:25 pm

Does the City of South Bend, Granger and/or St. Joseph County have a website where I can look up property values and taxes?

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Nick Molnar July 16, 2006 at 5:06 pm

I think you are looking for The Michiana Regional Geographic Information System.

macoggis.com

It permits searches by name, address or parcel number for St Joseph County or Elkhart County. You can find the property owner, assessed value, tax information and an aerial photo of the lot. Keep in mind that the information sometimes lags a year or more and the assessed value does not always reflect the market value.

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Name July 16, 2006 at 9:36 pm

The article mentions a law that will cap residential property tax at 2% of assessed value. Is this specific to South Bend? Will it apply to Mishawaka? If it is specific to South Bend, will Mishawaka be debating similar legislation?

Thank you for any insights you may share.

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Nick Molnar July 17, 2006 at 3:56 pm

The article quotes Gary Gilot, director of public works. Mr. Gilot informed me the property tax cap, which he referred to as a “two percent circuit breaker” was passed by the Indiana General Assembly. This means it will apply throughout the state. It comes to effect in 2008 for residential property and 2010 for all property.

Mr. Gilot said this could mean lower property taxes for many homeowners, though it may force cities to relace lost funds with other sources of revenue or cut services.

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