“Fiction” trumps “facts” in the application of the 5% burden-shifting rule. Once sold by developer, subdivided lots were not the “same property,” so buyers had the burden to prove the lots’ property tax assessments were incorrect.

Indiana Assessors have the burden of proof on appeal to show that their assessments are correct, “if the assessment that is the subject of the review or appeal increased by more than five percent (5%) over the assessed value determined by the [assessor] for the immediately preceding assessment date for the … [Read more...]

Prices of two vacant lots at “compulsory” auction reflected market values in their neighborhood and supported reductions of the lots’ property tax assessments

The auction prices of two lots established their values for purposes of determining their property tax assessments, the Indiana Board ruled last month in Norris v. Howard County Assessor, Pet. Nos. 34-002-10-1-5-00149 and -00151 (May 31, 2012) [Small Claims Docket].  See http://1.usa.gov/LNEnrG.  On … [Read more...]

Indiana Tax Court dismisses real property tax appeal due to taxpayers’ failure to timely file the agency record, where agency issued sufficient notice and taxpayers’ “own inaction” was not “excusable neglect.”

Indiana Tax Court Rule 3(E) requires the appealing party to request a certified copy of the agency record from the Indiana Board of Tax Review within thirty days of filing the petition.  And the rule further directs:  "The petitioner shall transmit a certified copy of the record to the Tax Court within … [Read more...]

Appraisals were “hearsay” and could not, standing alone, support reduction in home’s assessed value

In Thiry v. Dearborn County Assessor, Pet. No. 15-020-10-1-5-0001 (May 17, 2012) [Small Claims Docket], the Indiana Board of Tax Review considered the assessor's objection to the admission of the homeowners' two appraisals as "hearsay." See http://1.usa.gov/MEQgB3.  Indiana Rule of Evidence … [Read more...]

No joke? Providing “mirth” insufficient to support property tax exemption for fraternal group

"Mirth is God’s medicine. Everybody ought to bathe in it." - Henry Ward Beecher Laughter may be the best medicine, but apparently it is not the best prescription for a property tax exemption.  The Indiana Board of Tax Review denied an exemption for property used to promote "mirth" … [Read more...]

Tangle over the Tango: Dance & Gymnastics School owned by S Corporation and leased to non-profit found 100% exempt from property tax.

Property tax appeals often feel like a dance between the taxpayer and assessor, and in a January 2012 decision the parties went toe-to-toe over whether a dance and gymnastics studio qualified for a 100% exemption.  In Herrick Investments, Inc. v. Marion County Assessor, Petition No. 49-500-08-2-8-00001 (Ind. … [Read more...]