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Battle continues over north side apartment complex’s tax exemption

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. -- A county tax board will reconsider its suspension of a north side apartment complex's property tax exemption, as more information about the property's owners has come to light.

CBS4 Problem Solvers found out that a lawyer representing the owners of Lakeside Pointe at Nora sent a letter and packet of information to county officials on July 12, two weeks before the Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals met and suspended the tax exemption. The information did not make it to the right people and no one representing the owners showed up at a July 26 meeting, so it was not considered.

If owners were forced to pay property taxes, it would total more than $360,000 per year.

Lakeside Pointe at Nora has been the target of county officials and community leaders for months, as residents have complained about major issues that are not repaired, including broken hot water and air conditioning.

Health inspectors initiated a sweep of the complex in June, handing out more than 200 repair orders. Since then, only 10 of the cases have been closed, with others given more time for repair and seven cases taken to court for emergency repairs. All seven court cases, filed in August, remain pending, along with three cases filed in July.

CBS4 Problem Solvers saw multiple crews out at the complex on Friday painting and making repairs. Residents said they had noticed repairs being made after court cases were filed.

In the packet sent to the board last month, a lawyer said the complex is owned by JPC Charities, formerly Good Deeds Matter, of Ohio. A website for the company says it owns seven Indianapolis apartment complexes. The lawyer also said that Farah-Fox Lake Affordable Housing, another out of state company which is listed in property deeds as the owner, manages the property.

"The property provides affordable housing to residents at or below 60% of the Marion County Area Median Income," the lawyer said in part. "The property will continue to be consistent with its charitable purpose and use the property to provide safe, decent, affordable residential units."

City-county councillor Colleen Fanning has joined others in Nora who are calling on the owners to either clean up or sell the property. In July, Fanning said she believed the complex should not keep its tax exempt status.

"I think a suspension is definitely a step in the right direction, now the burden is on the property owner to prove why they deserve their tax exempt status," Fanning said.

County officials tell CBS4 Problem Solvers that the board will likely take up the issue again at its September meeting. A call and email to the lawyer representing the property owners was not returned Friday.

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