FAQs

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What is trending?
Trending, or annual adjustments, is a way for assessing officials to verify that assessed values are truly reflective of market value in use. Trending comes from a legislative mandate and began with the 2006 pay 2007 tax year. Trending may raise or lower an assessment based on the sales in a given area (also referred to as a neighborhood) and is meant to lessen the "sticker shock" of a general reassessment.
I split my property in July 2008, but my tax bill for 2008 pay 2009 still reflects the original acreage prior to the split. Why?
Tax bills are generated based on the status of the property on March 1 of any given year. In the example above, the parcel was not split for March 1, 2008; therefore the tax bill for 2008 pay 2009 cannot reflect the change in acreage that occurred in July. The County Assessor's office can figure the amount of tax owed for pay 2009 for each entity involved in the split, but individual tax bills cannot be generated. Contact the assessor's office at 260-248-3109 for more information.
My assessment is accurate, but my property taxes are too high! What can I do?
There are several exemptions available to homeowners: homestead, mortgage, veterans, age, among others. Check with the County Auditor's office to see if you qualify. Keep in mind that your tax rate is determined by the budgets set by your city and county councils, school and library boards and other entities. Contact them and let them know the burden that their decisions are causing for you. Lowering the spending of tax dollars will lower your tax bill.
I have heard the term parcel number and PIN used. What is the difference?
There is no difference. Both terms refer to the same thing. It is a unique identifier assigned to each property in the county.
I want to have my property tax bills combined, but I am told that it is not possible. Why?
In order for two or more tracts to be combined for taxing purposes there are a couple of criteria that must be met. 1. Taxpayer name must be exact on each tract to be combined. If title was taken as John Doe on tract 1 and John A Doe on tract 2, these tracts cannot be combined. 2. The tracts must be contiguous (adjoining). If the tracts are separated by roads, alleys, railroad, or another taxpayer's tract, we cannot combine your tracts. 3. Tracts must be in the same platted section. For example, a tract in Section 2 cannot be combined with a tract in Section 3. 4. Meets and bounds (unplatted parcels) cannot be combined with platted lots.
I did not file a personal property return and I received a 113-PP Assessment notice from the County Assessor. What am I supposed to do now?
The county assessor and staff continually receive information from various sources on new businesses in the county. If a new business is discovered and the taxpayer has not filed the proper paperwork with the County, the assessor will prepare a Form 113-PP estimating the value of the assets for the new business. If you receive this form, you must follow-up with the County Assessor's office within 45 days of mailing to determine if the "blind" assessment is accurate. Failure to contact the assessor's office will result in a tax bill for the following year based on the estimated assessed value of the assets.
I closed my business last year, but I still received a tax bill this year. Why?
Tax bills are based on assets owned on March 1 and payable the following year. For example, if your business was in operation on March 1, 2008, but closed in April 2008, you will still be liable for both spring and fall tax bill installments for 2008 payable 2009. It is the taxpayer's responsibility to notify the County Assessor's office that a business has closed. If the county is not aware of a business closing, the County Assessor will send a Form 113-PP for the year that the taxpayer fails to file. It then becomes the taxpayer's responsibility to contact the assessor and show evidence that the business closed prior to March 1.
I didn't know that I needed to file personal property, why am I being charged penalties?
Personal property is a self assessment form. It is the responsibility of the business owner to be aware of all tax filing requirements. The county cannot be held responsible for taxpayers being uninformed of tax laws. Taxpayers can consult with a certified public account for assistance in filing requirements.
Do I still need to report inventory, grain or livestock on the personal property return?
It is no longer required to report inventory, grain or livestock on the personal property return.
Do I still need to pay dog tax?
Dog tax is no longer collected in Whitley County. Dog tax was eliminated July 1, 2006.
As a farmer, I am continually exchanging my farm implements. What is the best way to keep track of my assets?
The county assessor's office can keep track of this information for you. If you supply the county with an asset list containing the date of purchase and the cost at the time of purchase, we can keep a "pool detail" worksheet for you. Each year this can be updated with new purchases and items sold.
I don't have a CPA. How do I file this paperwork?
The county assessor's office can assist you with filing your paperwork. You will need to provide a list of all assets along with the date of purchase and cost at the time of purchase.
Are inheritance tax files public record?
Inheritance tax files are confidential unless you are a legal heir or the attorney for the estate.
I have been told to file a form IH-6 at court. The decedent's accounts were in a trust and there is no estate. I was told I could avoid all probate and inheritance taxes!
Filing the IH-6 with the court does not mean that you have an estate or have to open one; that is just where the IH-6 is filed with all the correct documents. The IH-6 is a listing of all assets, exemptions, and deductions. Consider it an account of all financial matters. An IH-6 may indeed show that no tax is due, but its filing is a requirement where assets change ownership upon the death of an individual.
What is the difference between IH-14 and IH-19?
The IH-14 is an Application for Consent to Transfer Securities or Personal Property Of Any Description Owned by a Resident Decedent. This form is used to transfer any account owned by the decedent to his or her heirs. These accounts include savings, money markets, IRA's, CD's, etc. This form is also known as a Consent to Transfer. The IH-19 is a Notice of Intended Transfer of Personal Property. This form is generally filled out by the banking institution for checking accounts only. The release of the checking account is the sole discretion of the banking institution. They are only required to notify the county assessor's office of the release of the account.
My grandmother was in a nursing home in ABC County, but her home was in Whitley County. Where do I file the Consent to Transfer and Inheritance Tax Return?
The consent to transfer and inheritance tax return need to be filed in the county that the decedent resided. In the example above, the proper county to file the paperwork would be Whitley County since the decedent's home was located there.
Does the Consent to Transfer need to be filed on green paper?
Whitley County does not require that the Consent to Transfer be filed on green paper. This is a local decision. Surrounding counties may have different requirements and you should check with each county on their policy.
If I file the Consent with the county through the mail, how can I get my copies back?
You will need to enclose a self addressed, stamped envelope in order for the county to return the copies to you.
I filed Form 136 in 2009. Do I need to file again in 2011?
Form 136 is required to be filed every two years. However, if your first filing is in an "odd" numbered year, you will be required to file two consecutive years to be on the "even" numbered year cycle. For the example above, the taxpayer originally filed in 2009 and will again file in 2010 and every even numbered year thereafter.
Can I make a partial payment?
Yes, but the full amount will need to be paid by the due date to avoid penalties on the unpaid balance.
How do I get a receipt for my tax payment?
When making payment in person, we will print a receipt. When mailing a payment, your cancelled check will act as your receipt.
Why does the previous owner's name show up on my bill?
If you purchase a property after the March 1st assessment date, then the previous owners name will appear as the deeded owner on your tax statement.
How do I verify that you have received my payment?
Going to our home page and clicking on "Whitley County GIS" will allow you to look up your tax information. You may look up your taxes by name, property address or parcel number. This site is updated nightly. You may also contact our office and we can verify your payment. Please have your property (parcel) number available when you call.
Do I have all the exemptions I qualify for?
Exemptions are filed in the Auditor's Office. You can find valuable information on their website page or contact them at 260-248-3100.
Do you accept postmarks?
Yes, a payment is "on time" if the envelope has a USPS postmark that has a date on or before the due date. Please, be aware of postal deadlines to make sure your payment gets an "on time" postmark. (Postmarks are valid for regular tax payments only and do not apply to properties certified for tax sale.)
When is a property eligible for tax sale?
All parcels with a balance due from spring of the prior year or before are eligible for tax sale. You have a year to redeem the property but you will also have to pay tax sale fees, interest on the minimum bid and daily accruing interest on any surplus. A courtesy tax sale letter will be mailed prior to certification of properties. You have until the day before the sale to pay the delinquent taxes.
Why didn't I get notified that my taxes were delinquent?
We send out one billing in the spring of each year. That bill has two payment stubs; one to make a payment in May and another for November. You may check Whitley County GIS to check the status of your taxes.
What needs to be done to obtain a mobile home title transfer or moving permit?
If possible bring the mobile home title to the Treasurer's office to obtain a permit. If you do not have the title, we need the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the trailer and the size of the mobile home. If obtaining a moving permit you need to provide the new location address. We also need the name of the current mobile home owner to verify the taxes have been paid. To obtain a title transfer or moving permit all of the taxes must be paid for the year. If it is after the January 15th assessment date you must pay an estimated tax for the next year.
I never received my tax bill?
Contact our office at 260-248-3105. We will verify your mailing address and email a new bill to you.
Why do I have property taxes?
We've all become accustomed to the level of services provided by our local community. Schools, police and fire protection and libraries are only a few of the amenities property taxes make possible. Without property taxes, we couldn't support any of the above.
How do I pay my tax bill?
You may pay your tax bill in person, by mail, at the drop box located on the north side of the County Government Center Building, or you may pay online with a credit card.
Is there any way I can reduce my taxes?
There are a number of exemptions available to qualifying taxpayers. The County Auditor can provide you with information and assist you in determining whether or not you qualify. By visiting the Auditor's web page you can find more information concerning exemptions or call them at 260-248-3100. Another way to reduce your taxes is to ensure the assessed value of your property is correct. To learn about assessment and appeal procedures visit the County Assessor's web page or call 260-248-3109.
Will I receive a statement for my fall installment of taxes?
All Tax Statements are mailed out in the spring and have payment coupons for the Spring and Fall installments.
I need to change my mailing address.
Contact the County Auditor's office at 260-248-3100.
My recycling has not been picked up.
Please contact the Solid Waste department at 260-248-3132.
What should I do if there is a solid waste fee on by statement and there isn't a house on the property?
Please contact the Solid Waste department at 260-248-3132.
What are the Term and Districts?
Each of the Commissioners is elected from a separate district in which they must reside, but are voted upon by all voters throughout the County. Commissioner districts must be redrawn at least once every 10 years and may be redrawn in any odd-numbered year. The County Commissioners serve four-year terms on a staggered basis. See Contact Information for more info on your district representative.
When do the Commissioners meet?
Indiana law requires that the Board of Commissioners to hold regular monthly meetings. The Board of Commissioners of Whitley County meet on the first and third Mondays of each month (except for holidays) at 1:00 p.m. in the Commissioners' Room at the Government Building 220 West Van Buren St. Columbia City, Indiana. See Commissioner Meeting dates for more information.
Can I attend a meeting and speak?
All Commission meetings are open to the public and public comment is taken at the end of every meeting. If you would like to be put on the agenda you will need to contact the County Auditor at 260-248-3100.
Can my probation be transferred?
Yes, in most cases. If you reside in another state or county, our general practice is to transfer your probation supervision to your local jurisdiction. However, transfers are subject to the approval of the receiving jurisdiction, depending on a number of different criteria. There is a mandatory transfer fee of $75.00, payable prior to the transfer. Probationers who transferred to other states or counties are required to abide by the local rules of probation, as well the rules established by the Whitley County Probation Department.
Can I leave the state while on probation?
Limited travel permission may be granted during the probation term, subject to the approval of the supervising probation officer. Such travel requires a waiver of extradition, and may be subject to other restrictions, appropriate to your case.
How are cases assigned?
Cases are generally assigned to probation officers on a random basis as received from the courts. However, persons on probation for certain offenses(i.e. sex offenses and drug-related felonies) are assigned to officers with specializes caseloads. Individuals already on probation with a certain officer may also be assigned to that officer for the new term of supervision.
Are my records public information?
Adult criminal conviction information is in the public domain, and may be accessed by anyone through the Whitley County Clerk's Office. However, specific personal data and information utilized by the Probation Department is not available to the public.
Does my employer have to know I am on probation?
In certain cases, you or your probation officer may be court-ordered to disclose conviction information to specific individuals, such as employers, spouses, etc. Employers may contact the probation department, and will be advised as to public information, if requested.
Does my employer have to know I am on probation?
In certain cases, you or your probation officer may be court-ordered to disclose conviction information to specific individuals, such as employers, spouses, etc. Employers may contact the probation department, and will be advised as to public information, if requested.
How do I pay my fees?
Probation fees and fees owed for community corrections services are to be paid by cash, money order, or credit card at the offices of Whitley County Probation/Community Corrections, located in the lower level of the: Whitley County Jail 101 West Market Street - Suite B Columbia City, Indiana 46725 Court costs and fines are to be paid to the Whitley County Clerk, located on the second floor of the Whitley County Courthouse at: 101 West Van Buren Street Columbia City, Indiana, 46725 The Clerk will accept payment by cash, money order, or credit card. No personal checks will be accepted.
How often do I have to report?
The frequency of reporting to your probation officer is determined by risk-assessment, as well as department policy. Case issues may require that you report more frequently or less frequently than originally determined as you term of supervision progresses.
What is a presentence investigation?
A presentence investigation is a background check and social history review conducted by the probation department prior to sentencing. A written report which summarizes the information obtained in the investigation is provided to the defendant, the Judge, the Prosecutor, and legal counsel. Presentence investigations are ordered in the majority of felony cases. The information in the presentence report is used by the Court to assist in determining appropriate sentences and/or dispositions. The information contained in the report is confidential and not accessible to the public.
Where can I get information about home detention?
Information concerning home detention supervision and other community corrections programs is available through the Whitley County Community Corrections portion of this web site.
What year was your aerial photo's flown?
We have aerial photos in hard copy from 1980, 1992 and 1998, which are all black and white images. We have digital color images that were flown in 2003, 2005 (state provided), and 2008. The 2003 aerials have a 6" pixel resolution, 2005 have a 1' pixel resolution and the 2008 are made up of a combined 4" resolution in the urban areas and 6.75" resolution in the country.
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Contact the County

GOVERNMENT FACILITIES
GOVERNMENT CENTER
220 West Van Buren Street
Columbia City, IN 46725
Commissioners / Council
Assessor | Auditor
Recorder | Treasurer
County Coordinator / HR
Economic Development
Engineer/Surveyor / GIS
Health Dept / Immunizations
Joint Planning & Building
WIC | File Management
COUNTY COURTHOUSE
101 West Van Buren Street
Columbia City, IN 46725
Whitley Circuit Court
Whitley Superior Court
Clerk of Circuit Court
County Prosecutor
County IV-D Offices
Maintenance | Security
COUNTY JAIL
101 West Market Street
Columbia City, IN 46725
County Sheriff / Jail
Community Corrections
Emergency Management
County Probation | Dispatch
OTHER COUNTY OFFICES
County Highway
County History Museum
Purdue Extension Office
Soil & Water Cons. District