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Agreement Reached On Porter Regional Hospital Taxes

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June 25, 2014 — It took years of property assessment appeals and negotiations as well as ongoing discussion of a tax abatement agreement and when it should start —  but Porter Regional Hospital finally worked out its dispute with the County Council on its assessed value.

Council members voted 4-2, with one abstention, for the settlement worked out with county attorneys and Assessor Jon Snyder.  He told the Council Tuesday night it includes an agreed-to depreciation rate over 10 years. The agreement will provide for $9.7 million in tax revenues for the county government, Liberty Township residents, and the Duneland Schools over the next 10 years.

Councilmen Jeremy Rivas and Jim Biggs voted against applying the tax breaks retroactively and Biggs alone opposed continuing the breaks.  Councilman Jim Polarek abstained from voting, because his wife is an employee at Porter Regional Hospital.

Porter Regional Hospital issued a news release after the County Council vote:

June 24, 2014 (Valparaiso, IN) – Porter Regional Hospital and the Porter County Assessor’s Office have reached an agreement that will provide for $9.7 million dollars in tax revenues for Porter County and Liberty Township residents and Duneland Schools over the next 10 years.

Hospital executives and representatives from the Assessor’s Office have agreed to an assessed value of $130 million for the 225-bed hospital campus for tax years 2013 and 2014. The parties have also agreed to a depreciation schedule that reflects a declining assessed value over the 10-year period of tax abatement to account for ordinary wear and age of the facilities.

“There has never been any question that Porter Regional Hospital is vitally important to this community,” said Porter County Assessor Jon M. Snyder. “By establishing this valuation schedule, and with the approval of the Porter County Council, we will be able to put the discussion of assessed value behind us so that the hospital can move on with delivering great care to the community and the Assessor’s Office can continue focusing on our mission of ensuring that all taxpayers in Porter County carry an equitable share of the tax burden.”

As part of the agreement, which is conditioned upon the approval the Porter County Council and their determination that the hospital is in full compliance with the terms of the tax abatement, the hospital will agree to drop its previously filed assessment appeals.

“We appreciate the ongoing dialogue that led to this agreement and we look forward to a productive discussion with the Porter County Council,” said Porter Regional Hospital Chief Financial Officer Cheryl Harmon.

The new hospital, located at the corner of U.S. Highway 6 and Indiana State Road 49, generated nearly 700 construction related jobs during its development, resulting in approximately $69 million local payroll.

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