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Monday, July 19, 2010

Ind. Decisions - One NFP today from Tax Court

In Country Acres Limited Partnership v. Pleasant Township Assessor, and LaPorte County Assessor (NFP), an 11-page opinion, Judge Fisher writes:

In its appeal to this Court, Country Acres claims that the Indiana Board abused its discretion for two main reasons when it concluded that the C&W appraisal best reflected the market value-in-use of its complex. Country Acres first asserts that the Indiana Board’s “unrelenting” focus on Porter’s [Mr. Robert Porter (an Indiana certified Level II assessor-appraiser)] contingent fee arrangement was inappropriate and, as a result, it failed to recognize that Porter’s analysis prima facie established the market value-in-use of its complex. In the alternative, Country Acres asserts that the Indiana Board simply erred in assigning a final value to the complex. The Court will address each of these claims in turn.

I. Country Acres maintains that the Indiana Board overstepped its authority by linking the probative value of Porter’s entire analysis to his contingent fee arrangement. Country Acres complains that in so doing, the Indiana Board simply ignored the facts underlying Porter’s analysis, failed to give those facts the proper weight, and just assumed his analysis was incorrect. Country Acres’ complaints, however, are misplaced. * * *

Here, the Indiana Board found the C&W appraisal to be more probative despite the fact that it used a lower capitalization rate and was prepared for the purposes of refinancing. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 41 ¶ 61 (explaining that the C&W appraisal was “more through” and “consistent” than Porter’s analysis).) Based on its review of record evidence, the Court does not disagree. Consequently, the Indiana Board did not err in rejecting Porter’s use of an 11.35% capitalization rate.

II. Lastly, Country Acres maintains that the Indiana Board erred in reducing its assessment to $2,135,900 for the 2004 tax year. More specifically, Country Acres explains that because the Indiana Board determined that the application of a 7% trending factor to the C&W appraisal was proper, its final valuation should actually reflect the application of that trending factor. * * * Country Acres is correct.

When a 7% trending factor is applied to the C&W appraisal, a final market value-in-use of $2,056,075 is established. Consequently, the Indiana Board erred when it determined that the market value-in-use of Country Acres’ complex was $2,135,900 for the 2004 tax year.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 19, 2010 12:50 PM
Posted to Ind. Tax Ct. Decisions