Detailed Functions

  • Oversees the general reassessment process.
  • Serves as member/secretary of the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals.
  • Insures countywide uniform property assessment equalization.
  • Discovers and identifies omitted property.
  • Calculates the total assessed value of each taxing district.
  • Certifies current assessments to the County Auditor’s Office.
  • Utilizes recent sales of land to establish base market value in each neighborhood, adjusts the base values for location, nearness to amenities and other influence factors.
  • Is responsible for the selection of assessment software and computer systems.

Personal Property Filing Requirements

Effective January 1, 2016, January 1st is the lien date for all personal property in the State of Indiana. May 15th is the filing date for this property. To avoid a late penalty, a taxpayer must file a personal property return with the Wells County Assessor’s Office by May 15, of each year.
The penalty imposed for failure to file a timely personal property return is $25.00. If the return is not filed within thirty days of the filing date, there will be another penalty of 20% of the tax finally determined. IC 6-1.1-37-7.
All business tangible property is also to be filed at this time. Leased property is included in these filing requirements. If the taxpayer has leased equipment in their possession or own property that has been leased to someone else, they must report this on a Form 103-N or 103-O.

Business Personal Property Exemption

In 2015 the Indiana Legislature exempted any taxpayer from filing a Business Personal Property Return if the COST of all of the business personal property owned in Wells County, as of January 1 was less than $20,000.

The exemption is automatic—BUT—the taxpayer is required to file a Form 103 with the Wells County Assessor. The Department of Local Government Finance has prepared a certification on Form 103 that taxpayers must use.

Where the law (passed in 2015) previously required a taxpayer declaring this exemption to file a notarized certification with the county assessor, House Enrolled Act 1169-2016 provides that the taxpayer would declare the exemption by using a personal property form (specifically, Form 103-Short, Form 103-Long, or Form 102, as applicable). In other words, a taxpayer will no longer file a notarized certification to declare the exemption, but will instead use a personal property form.

 However, for purposes of the January 1, 2016 assessment date only, a taxpayer who has used or who will use a notarized certification to declare the exemption does NOT violate the law. In other words, taxpayers who have already filed a notarized certification do NOT need to file a personal property return to declare the exemption. Moreover, a taxpayer who files a notarized certification for 2016 despite this change in law does NOT need to file a personal property return to declare the exemption. Put differently, the notarized certification is grandfathered in for 2016 only. Either the notarized certification or the personal property form is acceptable for 2016.

In the event a person commits perjury in signing the certification, the county’s recourse is to confer with its prosecuting attorney.

To view the REVISED Frequently Asked Questions concerning this $20,000 exemption, issued by the Department of Local Government Finance on March 24, 2016, please click here.

Forms may be acquired from the Assessor’s Office or here on our site

To view the Frequently Asked Questions, Assessment of Personal Property, issued by the Department Of Local Government Finance on January 8, 2016 please click here.

The Appeal Process

The Indiana Legislature has revised the appeal process for taxpayers and Assessors.  The taxpayer has the right to appeal the assessed value reported on Form 11 (Notice of Assessment of Land and Structures) within 45 days of the date of the Form 11.  The filing of an appeal initiates a review of the property and constitutes a request by the taxpayer for a preliminary informal meeting with the Assessor.

The Assessor will hold an informal hearing with the taxpayer to resolve as many issues as possible.  Not later than 10 days after the meeting, the Assessor must forward results of the preliminary meeting to Auditor and the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA).  If no agreement is reached, the PTABOA must hold a hearing within 180 days of the filing of appeal.  PTABOA must give the taxpayer 30 days notice of the hearing date.  The taxpayer may request a continuance at least 20 days before the hearing date.  PTABOA must rule on continuance within 10 days of the request.  The taxpayer may request action without his presence or withdraw a petition at least 8 days before the hearing.  A PENALTY OF $50 WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE TAXPAYER OR REPRSENTATIVE FOR AN UNEXCUSED FAILURE TO APPEAR AT THE HEARING.

During the PTABOA hearing the taxpayer may present his/her evidence of disagreement.  The Assessor must present the basis for the assessment decision and refute the taxpayer’s evidence.  No appraisal is required by the taxpayer.

The Taxpayer may appeal the PTABOA action to the Indiana Board of Tax Review (IBTR).  The taxpayer must file the Form 131 (Petition to IBTR for Review of Assessment) within 45 days of the date of the PTABOA decision mailing a copy of the petition to all parties involved.

Application for Property Tax Exemption- NON PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS -Form 136

Application for exemption must be filed before April 1 of the assessment year with the county assessor. The application must be re-filed every even year unless: (1) the exempt property is owned, occupied and used for educational, literary, scientific religious or charitable purposes; (2) the property continues to meet the requirements of IC 6-1.1-10-16 or IC 6-1.1-10-21; and (3) an application was properly filed at least once in accordance with these statutes.

Form 136: Application for Property Tax Exemption

Notice of Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals Hearing

The Wells County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA) will meet for the first time in 2017 on January 9, 2017, in the Commissioner’s Room in the Courthouse Annex at 225 W Washington Street, Bluffton, Indiana at 8:30 a.m. The Board will consider any appeals of property tax assessment or other business properly brought to the Board.
Upon completion of the business at hand, the Board will recess until the next succeeding second Monday of the month adjourning sine die in December 2017.
Normally the meetings are open unless and until private financial information of the appellant is being presented.