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Serving: IN

Take advantage of property tax incentive for diking

Tom J. Bechman chemical storage tank
ASSESSMENT RELIEF: If your fertilizer or chemical storage building meets requirements prescribed by state law, you can seek to have the structure assessed at zero value for property tax purposes.
Here’s how to eliminate property taxes on a concrete dike or a building that serves as a dike.

The fertilizer and chemical storage building on Cameron and Cara Mills’ farm is listed on their property tax bill, with no charge assessed against it. That’s because it’s a dike for fertilizer and chemical storage. By Indiana statute, such a building or concrete dike structure may qualify for a deduction of assessed value for property tax purposes.

Cameron Mills sees it as a benefit for doing things properly. Before he built the structure in 2015, he consulted with regulatory officials at the Office of the Indiana State Chemist to make sure his plans met specifications for diking for fertilizer and chemicals.

His building contains primary containment for liquid fertilizers, plus secondary containment for chemicals. Once his building was approved, OISC provided documentation so he could get property tax relief on the structure itself.

If there’s a catch, it’s that not everyone is aware of it, notes Matt Pearson with OISC. He explains that the process is clear-cut. If your structure meets OISC guidelines, contact him. He can prepare a letter identifying your facility’s location and certifying that it meets requirements outlined in the law.

With the letter in hand, visit your assessor. Indiana law states that such a facility should be assessed as if it were bare dirt, Pearson says.

Even if you have an existing facility and never sought tax relief, you can still do so, Pearson says. If you installed a dike years ago and received the relief but since then have added a loading pad or other structure, you can have it amended to cover improvements.

To get started, email Pearson at [email protected] or call 765-494-1547.

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