This update is somewhat unusual as we will have a brief discussion about the property taxes and Resident Assessment at Heron Lake. In short, combined the property taxes and Resident Assessment at Heron Lake should be cheaper than just the taxes at your current lake house. To find out how and why we planned it this way read below. Otherwise, skip to the last paragraph for the brief update and look for the pictures!
Two of the more common questions we receive during tours concerns property taxes and our Resident Assessment. Typically our tour guests are used to paying taxes on a secondary residence in the public lakeband that does not benefit from a homestead exemption. In fact, along with actual projected site maintenance expenses, the homestead exemption was a primary factor in determining the target amount for the Resident Assessment at Heron Lake.
We did not want any homeowner to pay more for their combined property tax and Resident Assessment than a single secondary residence tax payment in the public lakeband. Meaning that combining houses from Allen County and the public lakeband would always result in a major reduction in property taxes but what about the other recurring costs? We wanted the recurring cost of living at Heron Lake to be less than the public lakeband and offer so much more in return. Remember that this Resident Assessment covers lakeshore maintenance, trail access, marina access, etc. and other items/services not being provided in the lakeband. So what impact does a homestead have?
Here are a handful of telling data points about the homestead exemption by county in 2017. In Allen County the nonhomestead residential taxes were 19% of the overall residential taxes. In DeKalb County this was 26% and in Steuben County this was 64%. That means that in Steuben County the nonhomestead residential taxes account for twice as much revenue as the homesteads! Whereas in Allen County the homesteads are over 4 times the revenue of the nonhomesteads. Surprisingly, the amount of nonhomestead taxes in Steuben County was greater than the total residential taxes in DeKalb County.
These exemptions are not created equal as the reduction is not the same from county to county. In Steuben County the average difference in your tax bill caused by the homestead exemption is a 9.3% reduction, in Allen County it is 12.5%. In DeKalb County this homestead exemption is on average a reduction of 25.3%. By analyzing these rate reductions and our overall maintenance planning, we are able to tell those people on tours that your tax bill on a secondary house in the lake band should be greater than your combined tax bill AND your Resident Assessment at Heron Lake. And we will save this concept for another discussion: Your tax rates at Heron will not be treated as if you are on lakefront, because the lake is privately owned, not owned by the State.
If you made it this far through the boring numbers and tax discussion, congratulations! Here are a couple updates to reward your persistence. We are excited to see our recycling efforts proceeding with material piles on site. Watching the crushing and cleanup just reinforces how far along the site has come from four years ago when we took possession. The homes under construction continue to progress and there should be a couple more started shortly so stay tuned. The electric, data fiber, and natural gas are all being installed now as well. Our site has City of Auburn water, sewer, electricity, data fiber, and NIPSCO for natural gas.
Thank you for your interest in the Heron Lake project, don’t forget to schedule your tour!