HOMESTEAD VERIFICATION: Auditor still waits on more than 300

COLUMBIA CITY — Homestead verification work has been keeping the Whitley County Auditor’s Office busy.The deadline to file for homestead tax credits has come and gone. Now, those homeowners who did not file a verification will have to answer to the auditor’s office or pay a higher tax bill.Jenny McGuire, Whitley County auditor, said she has been working with individuals who filed past the Dec. 31 deadline.“We were keeping them on up to Jan. 15,” she said.Originally, the list of people who had not verified their address for their homestead exemption numbered over 1,000. Some people chose to fill their forms out online while others came into the auditor’s office over the past six weeks. The current number of homesteads still not verified is 368. Now, the remaining individuals are being removed from the list. In addition to their removal, they are being billed for taxes dating back to the year 2010. McGuire noted the law does say if people file, they will be put back on the homestead list, but until then, she has no choice.A law passed in 2009 stated homeowners must fill out a new form if they wished to receive their deduction, starting in 2013. It was passed to prevent tax fraud. Now, the work has begun for the auditor’s office to clean up the list and look at the remaining names on there individually.For a more in-depth look at this story, see the Jan. 21 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook.