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Barn Blog

October 24, 2014

Pole Barn Owners Trying to Avoid Higher Taxes

In Shelbyville, IL a recent increase in the number of accessory building permits has drawn the attention of the zoning commission. Jared Rowcliffe, the Zoning Administrator for Shelby County is glad that building permits are increasing but he is concerned about what these buildings are being used for versus what they are supposed to be. Rowcliffe recently told the Herald-Review, "In August we issued 11 building permits. Eight were for accessory buildings, two were residential additions and one was a new home."

Rowcliffe and the county are paying close attention to the accessory building permits since landowners recently have built pole barn-type buildings that were then finished off as residences but they still only paid the barn rate when it came to property taxes.

According to Rowcliffe and the Shelby permit laws, nine hundred square feet or more of living space is considered a residence. Other members of the zoning commission are noticing more custom additions being added to pole barns that indicate the building is being used for more than just storage.

While it is not illegal to turn a pole barn into a residence it does affect the amount a landowner will pay in taxes and if the trend continues, Rowcliffe warns some property owners can expect to see their taxes adjusted.

Rowcliffe says most of the permit seekers are honest about the type of structure they are building and what it will be used for but there are always a few who will try to game the system in order to save money on the amount they pay in property taxes.

At The Pole Barn Company we advise all pole barn builders to be up front about their pole barns with the committees handling the permits to avoid getting on the bad side of a zoning commission that can make life very difficult if they find out they've been lied to.

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