The County Assessor identifies, lists, and calculates the assessed value of all real and personal property in the County.

102 W Market Street, Suite 202
Bluffton, IN 46714

(260) 824-6476

(260) 824-6518


Personal Property

Click the forms below to download the PDF version. Requires Adobe Acrobat.

· FORM 104: Business Tangible Personal Property Return (Public)

· FORM 102: Farmer's Tangible Personal Property Assessment Return

· FORM 103S: Short Form Business Tangible Personal Property Return (Confidential)

· FORM 103L: Long Form Business Tangible Personal Property Return (Confidential)

· FORM 103SR: Consolidated Return - Business Tangible Personal Property Return (Confidential)

· FORM 104SR: Consolidated Return - Business Tangible Personal Property Return (Public)

· FORM 133: Petition for Correction of Error

For all other forms please visit the state web site at and follow the link to DLGF Forms.

Real Property Forms

Click the forms below to download the PDF version. Requires Adobe Acrobat.

Procedure for Appeal of Assessment Effective July 1, 2012

· FORM 130:
Petition to the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals

· FORM 130-Short: Taxpayer’s Notice to Initiate an Appeal

· RENTAL WORKSHEET: Taxpayer’s form to provide rental information

· FORM 131: Petition to the Indiana Board of Tax Review

· FORM 133: Petition for Correction of Error

· FORM 135 : Affidavit of Destroyed or Removed Property

· Power of Attorney Form

· Sales Disclosure Form

 * Visit to access previously filed forms. Click on the SEARCH option on the left hand side.

 -To search for only Wells County data scroll down and click the plus (+) sign next to PROPERTY DETAILS. You will then be able to choose Wells County along with other details you may want to include for your search.

For all other forms please visit the state web site at and follow the link to DLGF Forms.

Property Tax Calculator
Once the budgets for local units are certified, anyone interested in estimating their property tax bill may do so using the DLGF’s online property tax calculator at Individuals will need their property’s assessed value, deductions, and taxing district to use the tool. The ESTIMATES provided are PROJECTIONS ONLY and SHOULD NOT be taken as a statement of true tax liability, which is determined by the county.

None at this time


Detailed Functions

· Oversees the general reassessment process.

· Serves as member/secretary of the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals.

· Insures countywide uniform property assessment equalization.

· Discovers and identifies omitted property.

· Calculates the total assessed value of each taxing district.

· Certifies current assessments to the County Auditor's Office.

· Utilizes recent sales of land to establish base market value in each neighborhood, adjusts the base values for location, nearness to amenities and other influence factors.

· Is responsible for the selection of assessment software and computer systems.

Personal Property Filing Requirements

March 1st is the lien date for all personal property in the State of Indiana.  May 15th is the filing date for this property.  To avoid a late penalty, a taxpayer must file a personal property return with the Wells County Assessor's Office by May 15, of each year.

The penalty imposed for failure to file a timely personal property return is $25.00.  If the return is not filed within thirty days of the filing date, there will be another penalty of 20% of the tax finally determined.  IC 6-1.1-37-7.

Motor homes, travel trailers, truck campers, trailers over 3,000 lbs., snowmobiles and off-road vehicles, are no longer required to be reported to the Assessor's office.  This will be taken care of through the BMV; however if there is a recreational vehicle used for farming purposes, that is not plated through BMV, it must be reported on the Form 102- Farmer's Tangible Personal Property Assessment Return.

All business tangible property is also to be filed at this time.  Leased property is included in these filing requirements.  If the taxpayer has leased equipment in their possession or own property that has been leased to someone else, they must report this on a Form 103-N or 103-O.

Farm machinery and equipment on hand as of March 1, of the current year, is still required to be reported. This includes all leased equipment and machinery. Farmers are no longer required to report livestock or grain. The state has eliminated the tax on inventory, grain and livestock.

Forms may be acquired from the Assessor's Office or by clicking here


Legislature has passed some changes made to   50 IAC 4.2 Assessment of Tangible Personal Property. These changes are effective for the March 1, 2011 assessment date. One of the biggest changes made is in regards to the Assessment of Non-Automotive Equipment. See memo issued for further guidance, Non-Automotive Equipment Memo.

The Appeal Process

The Indiana Legislature has revised the appeal process for taxpayers and Assessors.  The taxpayer has the right to appeal the assessed value reported on Form 11 (Notice of Reassessment of Land and Structures) within 45 days of the date of mailing the Form 11.  The filing of an appeal initiates a review of the property and constitutes a request by the taxpayer for a preliminary informal meeting with the Assessor. 

The Assessor will hold an informal hearing with the taxpayer to resolve as many issues as possible.  Not later than 10 days after the meeting, the Assessor must forward results of the preliminary meeting to Auditor and the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA).  If no agreement is reached, the PTABOA must hold a hearing within 180 days of the filing of appeal.  PTABOA must give the taxpayer 30 days notice of the hearing date.  The taxpayer may request a continuance at least 20 days before the hearing date.  PTABOA must rule on continuance within 10 days of the request.  The taxpayer may request action without his presence or withdraw a petition at least 8 days before the hearing.  A PENALTY OF $50 WILL BE ASSESSED AGAINST THE TAXPAYER OR REPRSENTATIVE FOR AN UNEXCUSED FAILURE TO APPEAR AT THE HEARING.

During the PTABOA hearing the taxpayer may present his/her evidence of disagreement.  The Assessor must present the basis for the assessment decision and refute the taxpayer’s evidence.  No appraisal is required by the taxpayer.

The Taxpayer may appeal the PTABOA action to the Indiana Board of Tax Review (IBTR).  The taxpayer must file the Form 131 (Petition to IBTR for Review of Assessment) within 45 days of the date of the PTABOA decision mailing a copy of the petition to all parties involved.

Application for Property Tax Exemption- NON PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS -Form 136

Application for exemption must be filed before May 15 of the assessment year with the county assessor. The application must be re-filed every even year unless: (1) the exempt property is owned, occupied and used for educational, literary, scientific religious or charitable purposes; (2) the property continues to meet the requirements of IC 6-1.1-10-16 or IC 6-1.1-10-21; and (3) an application was properly filed at least once in accordance with these statutes.

Form 136: Application for Property Tax Exemption

Richard R. <Rick> Smith
County Assessor

· Biography

Deputy Assessors

Becky Johnson

Beth Singleton

Laura Roberts


Political Experience Level I, II and III Certified; 1st Term as Wells County Assessor.

Personal Information

I grew up in Wells County having graduated from Lancaster High School in 1966.  I earned my bachelor’s degree in accounting at Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas.  I also served in the Army from 1970 to 1972.

I passed the CPA exam in 1975, now having more than 30 years experience in accounting. I have worked in public accounting, not-for-profit and manufacturing. I have chaired the Tax and Fiscal Policy Committee of the Indiana Manufacturers Association and served as the President of the Financial Executives International chapter in Fort Wayne. I now serve as a regional board member for the national FEI organization. I have been a member of the ProFed Credit Union Board of Directors for 12 years and currently serve as the Board Chairman. 

My wife, Mary, and I have been married for 41 years and have two grown children and three grandsons.  We are active members of the Markle Church of Christ.

Specifications for Contract Bids

None at this time

Township Trustees

Chester Township
Garry Story
7898 S Meridian Rd
Poneto, IN 46781
(260) 694-6891

Harrison Township

Eric S Kiefer

223 W Washington Ste 104

Bluffton, IN 46714

(260) 824-6402

Jackson Township
Bruce Herr

6620 W 900 S-90

Warren, IN 46792

(765) 728-2408

Jefferson Township
Richard McCoy
802 N Jefferson St.
Ossian, IN 46777
(260) 622-6010 - Office
(260) 622-6010 - Fax

Lancaster Township
Wanda Lobsiger
915 N Main, Suite 7
Bluffton, IN 46714
(260) 824-9501 - Office

Liberty Township
Diane Rockwell
0056 W. First St.
P.O. Box 56
Poneto, IN 46781
(260) 694-6181 - Home

Nottingham Township
Mark Shaffer

8878 S Walnut

Petroleum, IN 46778

(260) 827-8104

Rockcreek Township
Phylian Keefer
P.O. Box 311
5635 N 500 W
Markle, IN 46770
(260) 758-2080 - Home

Union Township
Brian Imel
8313 N 600 W
Markle, IN 46770
(260) 758-2426 - Home




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