The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Local News

November 2, 2012

County officials’ property taxes fall

Letter to residents suggests impropriety; officials deny charges


ANDERSON, Ind. — ‘Integrity of office’

Mike Gaskill declined to talk specifically about the assessments on properties he owns when The Herald Bulletin requested an interview. He said political rivals were seeking to discredit him because of his conservative fiscal policies.

Several days later, however, Gaskill sent an email statement saying the allegations that he’s received preferential treatment are false.

Like Gardner, Gaskill and his wife, Kelly, own their personal home and seven investment properties.

In 2009 the combined assessed value of those properties was $914,000, according to assessor and auditor records. Their total property tax liability was $14,407, according to auditor records.

By 2011, the assessed value of those properties was $695,100, a drop of $218,900. And the Gaskills’ property tax liability declined to $10,822 for a net reduction from 2009 of $3,585.

Records also show that the assessed value of Shelton’s home dropped significantly from 2009 to 2011, while the value of homes owned by County Councilmen Mike Phipps (running for reelection Tuesday) and David McCartney showed modest reductions in assessed value during that period.

In 2009, records show Shelton’s home with an assessed value of $91,100. In 2010, online documents indicate there was an error in the assessment, and the assessed value of Shelton’s home was reduced $27,400 to $63,700. As a result of the changes, however, Shelton’s annual property tax liability went down from $911 in 2009 to $559 in 2011, a reduction of $352.

Similarly, the assessed values of Phipps’ and McCartney’s homes went down from 2009 to 2011. Phipps’ dropped from $152,600 to $133,100 in that time; the value of McCartney’s property jumped from $64,400 in 2009 to $72,600 the following year before dropping to $59,900 in 2011.

Gaskill said he believes Davis is the real target of critics.

Davis declined to discuss specific details of Gardner or Gaskill’s property assessments.

“I want everybody’s assessment to be fair,” he said. “The integrity of this office is very important to me.”

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.


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