03/16/12 To help Hoosiers with delinquent property taxes avoid a tax sale, State Rep. Bill Friend (R-Macy) authored legislation to allow county treasurers to set u  p a payment plan with a taxpayer.  House Enrolled Act (HEA) 1090 was signed by Gov. Mitch Daniels and will go into effect retroactively to January 1, 2012.

HEA 1090 will expand statewide a pilot program that is currently available only in Lake County.  If a taxpayer and county treasurer arrange a payment plan for delinquent property taxes owed, the county auditor will be able to remove the property from a tax sale.  If the taxpayer breaks the agreement, the property could again go to tax sale.

“Many home and business owners are in need of property tax relief with the difficult state of the economy,” said Rep. Friend.  “By allowing the taxpayer and treasurer to enter into an agreement for overdue property taxes, people stay in their homes and the government receives the revenue necessary to provide services.”

The legislation further permits an amnesty period for fees on late property taxes that were due prior to 2012.  If a taxpayer pays delinquent property taxes before July 1, 2013, penalties and interest may be forgiven by the county treasurer.  The bill also states a county may sell a property in a tax sale once the minimum bid reaches 75 percent of the property’s assessed value.  This helps remove the burden on counties to maintain properties where the overdue taxes exceed the value of the property.

“Hardworking Hoosiers deserve a second chance to keep from losing their homes and business,” said Rep. Friend.  “If a solution can be worked out to pay delinquent property taxes, everyone will benefit.”