Some property values decline

When new businesses open or homes are built, they bring in more potential revenue for schools, libraries, fire departments and cities.

If the overall value of property within a local government is up, then local officials know that area is growing, properties are becoming more valuable and their community is a place residents and businesses want to be.

Across Johnson County, the total value of properties in most local communities grew in the last year.

For example, in Greenwood that value increased by 32 percent between last year and this year; in Bargersville that amount was up 5 percent.

The same was true for school districts, where values increased by 8 percent within Clark-Pleasant’s boundaries and 4 percent in Center Grove.

But for some local governments, values went down this year, which officials say is concerning for the future.

In Trafalgar, overall property values were down by less than 1 percent, which is a small number but still a concern, town council member Jason Ramey said.

The lower value doesn’t mean services need to be cut or ended and doesn’t impact the town’s budget.

The concern is more about making sure Trafalgar continues to grow and is a place where residents want to live and businesses want to locate, he said.

The lower value shows officials what they need to focus on: attracting new businesses and subdivisions, Ramey said.

That means making sure utilities are available, roads are in good shape and the police department has the staff and equipment needed to provide services, Ramey said.

Some new development is being discussed and could add to the overall property value of the town in the future, town council member David Moore said.

Other factors can also play into the loss of overall value, local officials said.

For example, Greenwood school officials are used to their total property value amount fluctuating over the years because a large part of their tax base is composed of businesses that can change in value with assessments, assistant superintendent Todd Pritchett said.

But by having more businesses, that also allows the tax rate to be lower because those properties pay more in taxes than homes, he said.

The overall value is still a number they watch to make sure it is not going down permanently, he said.

“I don’t think it is something we are alarmed about, but at the same time it is something we certainly monitor,” Pritchett said.

“We are certainly aware and pay attention, but I wouldn’t say we are overly concerned about a continued decline in our assessed value.”

Edinburgh school officials are also watching the value of properties within their school district, where the total value dropped by less than 1 percent.

Superintendent William Glentzer thinks that drop could be due to multiple factors, including local property owners who appealed the value of their home or business and won and a lack of new development, he said.

That number is always something officials watch, and right now, they have no reason to believe it won’t go back up in the future, Glentzer said.

“It’s not a grave concern at this point. We will keep watching it, but there is nothing saying it will stay down,” Glentzer said.

By the numbers

Here is a look at how the total value of properties changed for some local governments between 2015 and 2016:

Cities and towns

Bargersville: 5 percent increase

Edinburgh: Less than 1 percent increase

Franklin: 3 percent increase

Greenwood: 32 percent increase

New Whiteland: 6 percent increase

Prince’s Lakes: Less than 1 percent decrease

Trafalgar: Less than 1 percent decrease

Whiteland: 5 percent increase

School districts

Center Grove: 4 percent increase

Clark-Pleasant: 8 percent increase

Edinburgh: 2 percent decrease

Franklin: 2 percent increase

Greenwood: Less than 1 percent decrease

Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson: Less than 1 percent increase

Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.