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Press Releases

October 26, 2015

Statement of Lake County Assessor Jerome Prince
Concerning Settlement with Horseshoe Casino

After several months, and much deliberation, Lake County Assessor Jerome Prince recently reached a settlement with Horseshoe Casino concerning its real property valuations. But unlike some prior casino appeals, this settlement will actually net the county millions of dollars in assessed value.

“The assessed value of the casino and adjoining property appeared low in comparison with that of Ameristar Casino in East Chicago, as well as with the Horseshoe facility in Southern Indiana”, stated Mr. Prince. “Each property is unique, but Horseshoe Hammond has the largest gaming floor in the state and grosses about twice the revenue of either of those comparable properties. Our office believed that the value should be higher than in prior years; the taxpayer ultimately agreed.”

A series of meetings with Horseshoe tax advisors as well as the Horseshoe Tax Manager culminated in a recent agreement that increases that value and more accurately reflects what it should be for the 2014-2017 time period. “We wanted a multi-year agreement; there’s nothing to be gained by re-starting this process every year,” concluded Assessor Prince.

Based on current tax rates in Hammond, the county will net an additional $3.2m in tax dollars over the four years settled by the parties. Given the ever-present budget crunch in Lake County, those funds will go a long way toward more police officers, firefighters and other public services.

All in all, $3m was either saved or gained for Lake County taxpayers. Assessor Prince summed up the recent work stating, “I’m glad we were able to resolve the matter in a manner that benefits everyone involved.”

September 28, 2015

RE: 2015 pay 2016 Appeal Deadline for Review Year 1 Taxpayers

Attention Lake County Taxpayers,

The statewide cyclical reassessment began July 1, 2014 for the 2015-pay-2016 property taxes. Instead of the reassessment being conducted over a 20-month timeframe, it will now be spread over a four-year period. Approximately 25% of the parcels in each county will be reassessed each year. During statewide reassessments, county and township assessors physically inspect each property to ensure that records are correct. Last year, assessing officials began re-assessing 25% of the parcels in their jurisdiction. Taxpayers whose parcels were included in the first phase of the four year process will receive a Form 11 as their initial notice of assessment. Forms will be mailed out between October 8th -13th. Taxpayers receiving Form 11’s will have until November 30, 2015 to appeal their assessments. Tax bills will serve as the initial notice of assessment for the remaining 75% of parcels; that appeal deadline will be 45 days from the bills’ last mail date.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office at 219-755-3100.


Jerome A. Prince
Lake County Assessor

June, 2015

Statement of Lake County Assessor Jerome Prince
Concerning Settlement of All Majestic Star Tax Appeals

I am pleased to report that our office has settled all pending tax appeals with Majestic Star and also agreed to assessed values for its real property for years 2015-17. This settlement concludes over five years of litigation and provides assurance of a steady stream of tax payments for the next four years.

The details of this settlement include payment to Majestic Star of tax refunds and interest of approximately $5.2 million, with $4 million to be paid now and the remainder in credits over two years after adjustments are made for additional taxes due in 2012-14. In return, Majestic Star will dismiss all tax appeals for all years prior to 2015.

In addition, Majestic Star has agreed that its real property, including its two riverboats, will be valued at $67 million for tax years 2012-13. After a sale of approximately 190 acres last summer, the remaining real property will be valued at $55 million per year for tax years 2014-17.

This settlement also ends the costs associated with these tax appeals.

I am pleased that these matters have been resolved on a reasonable basis. I appreciate the assistance from Majestic Star’s management in achieving this resolution as well as the help from the Calumet Township Assessor’s Office and the City of Gary.