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For Immediate Release
INDIANAPOLIS (Feb. 20, 2008) – The Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) today announced live streaming video will be available in 2008 for the meetings of Indiana’s two Property Tax Control Boards.
“By providing this service, the DLGF is striving for better accessibility of meetings to the public and greater accountability of local officials,” Commissioner Cheryl Musgrave said. “Access to public meetings should not be limited to those able to attend during working hours or to travel to Indianapolis.”
Links to the live streaming will be available from the Department’s Web site at www.in.gov/dlgf/2342.htm and will first be available during the Feb. 21 meeting of the School Property Tax Control Board (agenda attached). Additionally, a video of the meeting will be available on the Web site within 24 hours of the meeting adjournment.
The School Property Tax Control Board and the Local Government Property Tax Control Board meet each month (except January) to review construction plans and listen to local officials who seek approval for construction projects. After thorough review, the Boards – comprised of experts in the fields of business, engineering, architecture and education – make recommendations to the Commissioner of the Department to approve, disapprove or modify projects.
Once she receives the recommendations, the Commissioner is the approval authority for the projects. Each request is considered on a case-by-case basis using information related to local opposition and support, property tax impact and the needs of the local community.
This tool is the latest in several additions made to the DLGF’s Web site, making property tax information more readily available and transparent to Hoosier taxpayers.
Last month, the DLGF launched an online toolkit for citizens who want to object to new construction projects. The Citizen’s Petition and Remonstrance Toolkit is available online to assist Hoosiers in understanding the complicated objection process required by law. In December, the DLGF began videotaping the Tax Control Board meetings and making the video available on its Web site.
“Videotaping the meetings and making them available on the Web site was the first step in increasing accessibility for Hoosiers,” Musgrave said. “We have now taken the next step by giving real-time access to taxpayers across the state.
In fall 2007, the DLGF launched its first searchable databases, which provide sales disclosure and assessment information on properties statewide. The tools can assist taxpayers in the assessment appeal process and enable Hoosiers to search for other properties in the area defined as a neighborhood by their assessor. The DLGF also prepared county summaries to provide taxpayers with information about property taxes and budgets of governmental units in their area.
The search tools and information are available from the DLGF's home page at http://www.dlgf.in.gov/.
Contact: Mary Jane Michalak, 317.232.3785,firstname.lastname@example.org
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