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'What are our actions we can take legally?' Businesses feeling the sting of Vigo County property tax assessments

Businesses in Vigo County are worried after getting their property tax assessments in the mail.

Posted: Jul 30, 2018 6:17 PM

VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) -- It's been a few weeks since property tax assessments came out in the mail.

Residential and commercial owners were hit hard with big increases. We told you about Kris Aninger who's assessment went up $8,000.

Some commercial properties saw increases in the millions of dollars.

LINK | ANSWERS TO YOUR PROPERTY TAX ASSESSMENT QUESTIONS

Now, local business owners are worried that could lead to empty storefronts.

Last night Top Guns of Terre Haute held a meeting with other property owners to talk about what they were going to do. 

"Hopefully we can come to some sort of common ground," Steve Ellis, Top Guns CEO said. "You know, at the moment we have a lot of local businesses that are truly going to be forced into bankruptcy."

Top Guns isn't the only business feeling the pressure from these increases. 

"I hadn't actually gotten it yet and I was already getting calls from business owners. They were just blown away they wanted to know what kind of increase we received," Brian Dorsett, owner of Dorsett Automotive said. "It's just a huge number. Three times what we used to pay. It's almost unimaginable." 

Businesses all over the South Side are being impacted

LINK | '..IT HAS A TRICKLE-DOWN EFFECT THAT PEOPLE IN OFFICE JUST DON'T UNDERSTAND.'

"On the commercial side of things, anything from I-70 south was dramatically, major increases," Dorsett said. 

A lot of those businesses are looking for legal aid to help them with the appeals process and beyond. Dorsett said the businesses are going to spending a lot of money on that kind of council.

"We're going to have to probably look at, is there a way for us to recover some of those funds," he said.

But at the end of the day, everyone just has to work together.

"Economic Development Council if they want this place to thrive we've got to collaborate to make it thrive," Dorsett said. "County officials, city officials need to all work together." 

Ellis said things could go one of two ways, either the assessments stay the same and businesses go bankrupt, or they win their appeals and consider suing to get back the money they had to spend on legal aid. 

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