TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (WLFI) - Tippecanoe County Treasurer Bob Plantenga met a Dec. 31, 2012 deadline to re-file for his homestead tax exemption.
"If I didn't have the homestead my taxes would go from about $1,400 a year to about $3,500 a year," Plantenga said.
Nearly 5,000 people in the county did not meet the deadline. They could be at risk of losing the exemption.
"We still have a number of people who have not returned the pink form," Plantenga said.
That pink form has been sent in the tax forms of people with the homestead for the last three years. It requires homeowners social security and driver's license information.
It needed to be filled out and returned to the county auditor by Dec. 31. Those with the homestead can only use it on their primary home. The pink form is to help prevent homestead fraud.
"[The information on the pink forms] is put into a state data base," Plantenga said. "[It can tell] whether you have a homestead in Spencer County and in Tippecanoe County. That can be caught. Right now that is very difficult to do."
"I don't want people to panic," Tippecanoe County Auditor Jennifer Weston said.
Weston has been processing the pink forms for the last three years. The form told homeowners to have it in by Dec. 31, but for those who missed the date there is still time.
Weston said to keep an eye for a notice in the mail.
"[We're] trying to touch base with people to get the information we need," Weston said. "We'd like to have a big majority of this done by the time the tax bills go out this year, so maybe April 1."
Both Plantenga and Weston said the homestead could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars.
"If you have the homestead and don't respond it could double your taxes," Weston said.
The re-filing deadline is only for those who applied for the homestead before 2009.
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