Definition of Terms
As with all county government offices, the auditor’s office works with the taxpayers and other government officials and use terms somewhat unique to their daily activities. The following are the most frequently used terms and their definitions.
Appropriation – authorization given by the council by ordinance to incur obligations and disburse funds for a specific purpose, in those instances where an appropriation is required. This term is associated with the terms “Major Budget Classification” and “Object of Expenditure,” also defined herein. The term differs from “fund” in that it does not represent cash but is merely the authority to expend the cash in a specific fund up to a stated amount.
Blind/Disabled Person Deduction Form – Deduction is $12,480. The parcel must be the applicant’s principal place of residence and the applicant must own the parcel or be buying it under a recorded contract. In addition, the applicant must provide proof of blindness or disability and the individual’s income for the preceding year cannot exceed $17,000.
Claim or Accounts Payable Voucher – as used herein and particularly in Chapter VII, Claims and Allowances, shall have the broad meaning of any request, order, or demand for payment of money out of the county treasury. It is not intended that the term be limited solely to claims filed for allowance by the board of county commissioners, unless the discussion so indicates.
Deduction – reduces the assessed value being taxed – *Mobile Homes-the total deductions applicable to a Mobile Home/Manufactured Home, not assessed as real estate, may not exceed one-half of the assessed valuation-this does not apply to the supplemental homestead deduction
Disbursement – the actual payment of money by the issuance of a warrant against the county treasury.
Encumbrance – an obligation incurred in the form of a purchase order or contract to be paid from an appropriation or fund, for which a part of the appropriation or fund is reserved, or set aside on the records, for that purpose. An encumbrance ceases when the obligation is paid.
Energy Deductions – Solar Energy Heating or Cooling System – deduction equals the out-of-pocket expenditures for the components and labor. Solar Power Device, Wind Power Device, Hydroelectric Power Device, Geothermal Device-deduction equals the AV of the property with the device less the AV of the property without the device. (For a solar-power device assessed as distributable or personal property, the deduction equals the AV of the device.) Note: Hydroelectric and Geothermal devices must be certified by the Indiana Department of Environmental Management
Expenditure – the incurring of an obligation against a fund or appropriation, for which the money may or may not be disbursed. It is actually a total of encumbrances and disbursements.
Fund – the cash belonging to a specific named account. It shall also mean investments of cash in securities belonging to such fund or account. Examples of funds include: General Fund, Welfare Fund, Highway Fund, Health Fund and Congressional School Fund.
Heritage Barn – constructed before 1950 and cannot be a dwelling.
Homestead – principal place of residence; applies to the dwelling and surrounding acre. Deduction is lesser of $45,000 or 60% of the gross AV of the property
Ledger – the composite or summary of a group or of all individual “ledger accounts” into a single book or record. For example, a “Funds Ledger” will consist of the ledger accounts for all funds and an “Appropriation Ledger” will consist of the ledger accounts for all appropriations. It is sometimes referred to as the “General Ledger,” in which all ledger accounts are kept in a single record; however, the term also includes subsidiary ledgers of financial transactions required to be kept.
Ledger Account – the accounting form on which the financial transactions pertaining to a particular fund, appropriation, or detail account are recorded.
Major Budget Classification – one of the four major classifications of expense for which appropriations are made under the uniform budget system prescribed for counties. The major classifications are: Personal Services, Supplies, Other Services and Charges, and Capital Outlays.
Mortgage Deduction – available for property on which a person has a home equity line of credit that is recorded in the County Recorder’s Office. Deduction is lesser of: $3,000, balance of mortgage or contract indebtedness on assessment date or one-half of the totals AV of property.
Object of Expenditure or Minor Budget Classification – one of the detail or minor classifications of expense under a major budget classification, as prescribed in the uniform budget system for counties. It also refers to appropriations where required to be made by minor object.
Over 65 Deduction & Over 65 Circuit Breaker – Over 65 Deduction is lesser of one-half of the gross AV of the property or $12,480. Applicant must have owned (or been buying) the property for at least one year before claiming the deduction. Applicant and any joint tenants or tenants-in-common must reside on the property. The combined, adjusted gross income of applicant and applicant’s spouse or applicant and any joint tenants or tenants-in-common for preceding year did not exceed $25,000. AV of property cannot exceed $182,430. Applicant must be at least 65 by December 31 of the year proceeding the year in which the deduction is claimed. If any joint tenants-in-common are not at least 65, the deduction is reduced by a fraction. Over 65 Circuit Breaker – The credit prevents recipient’s homestead tax liability from increasing by more than 2% over the previous year. Applicant must have been eligible for the homestead deduction in the preceding year as well as current year. Income cannot exceed $30,000 or $40,000 if filed jointly with spouse. Gross AV of homestead cannot exceed $160,000. Applicant must be at least 65 by December 31 of the year proceeding the year in which the deduction is claimed.
Quietus or Receipt – the quietus issued by the auditor upon a person depositing in his/her office the receipt of the treasurer for money paid into the county treasury.
Supplemental Homestead – (part of the Homestead filing) – Applied to the net AV after the Homestead. It equals 35% of the net AV (if the net is less than $600,000) or 25% of the net AV (if the net is greater than $600,000).
Unencumbered Appropriation – that portion or balance of an appropriation not expended or encumbered.
Veterans Deduction – Total Disability or at least Age 62 with at least 10% Disability – applicant was a member of the US Armed Forces for at least 90 days and honorably discharged. The individual must provide proof of disability. AV cannot exceed $175,000. It can be a surviving spouse of an individual that would have qualified. Maximum deduction amount is $12,480. Partial Disability – applicant was a member of the US Armed Forces during any of its wars and honorably discharged and a service-connected disability of at least 10%. The individual must provide proof of disability. It can be a surviving spouse of an individual that would have been qualified. Maximum deduction amount is $24,960. Surviving Spouse of a World War 1 – applicant is the surviving spouse of an individual who served in the US Armed Forces before November 12, 1918. The deceased spouse was honorable discharged. The individual must provide proof of service of the deceased. Maximum deduction amount is $18,720. Deduction for Homestead Donated to Veteran – applicant served in the military or naval forces of the United States for at least 90 days and honorably discharged. Applicant must be at least 50% disabled, must provide proof. Applicant’s homestead was conveyed without charge to the applicant. The deduction amount is based on percent of disability.
Warrant – an order or check issued by the auditor or the treasurer for the payment of money from the county treasury.