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2 county offices outsource business, homestead audits

Two county offices plan to contract with a tax management company to investigate the validity of selected Allen County property assessments and homestead credits.

The company will conduct audits and supply data to ensure all taxpayers are treated fairly, the Allen County commissioners heard Friday.

Tax Management Associates Inc. of Charlotte, N.C., will be paid 25 percent of all the new taxes, penalties and interest collected resulting from those audited for the auditor's office, and it will collect fees from the assessor's office based on the value of the property being audited.

For example, with a local business with personal property valued at $49,999 or less, the county will pay an audit fee of $400. For a site with an assessed value of more $20 million, the fee would be $10,000.

For the auditor's office, the process should reveal those who are claiming homestead credits for a property that is not their primary residence, Auditor Tera Klutz said.

In the assessor's office, the audits will verify the business taxpayer's personal property assessments, exposing both over- and under-assessed values, Assessor Stacey O'Day said.

"It works both ways," O'Day said. "If they are overpaying, a refund check will be issued."

For more on this story, see Saturday's print edition of The Journal Gazette or visit www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m. Saturday.

vsade@jg.net

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