Report: Penn Township commercial properties severely undertaxed

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For the last several years, business owners in Penn Township have been getting a good deal on their taxes.

That’s according to a study by enFocus, a firm of Notre Dame graduates that was hired by both the city of Mishawaka and St. Joseph County to conduct a tax study, according to the South Bend Tribune.

The group reviewed all 1,411 commercial parcels in Penn Township this fall. It found that hundreds of commercial property assessments in the township were not updated in 2012 after a land value study was done.

enFocus says, if the study was factored in, land values in total would have increased by about $7 million total. That would have meant a hike in property taxes for those businesses between $160,000 to almost $400,000 total.

It also would have meant that places like Osceola, Mishawka, School City of Mishawaka, Penn-Harris-Madison School Corp., and St. Joseph County would have collected more property taxes for several years.

Residential properties will be evaluated next by enFocus. In the meantime, the county may have to do another land study to defend major hikes in property taxes in the future.

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