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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Ind. Decisions - More on: Homeowners' Lose Sewer Suit Against City

Remember this decision from May 10, 2011 in the case of The City of Indianapolis, et al. v. Christine Armour, et al. It was a 3-2 opinion, with the Indiana Supreme Court holding:

The City of Indianapolis abandoned the Barrett Law method of financing sewer improvements in favor of a new system that imposes less of a financial burden on property owners. To ease the transition, the City discharged all outstanding Barrett Law assessments owing as of November 1, 2005, but did not give refunds to those property owners who had previously paid their Barrett Law assessments in full or in part. We hold that the City did not violate the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment because forgiving only the outstanding assess-ment balances was rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest.
The case is being appealed to the SCOTUS. The Tax Foundation of Washington DC has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of petitioners, defining the Question Presented as:
Does a city government violate the Equal Protection Clause when it forgives outstanding payments owed by taxpayers who have been paying a particular tax in installments but refuses to refund taxpayers who have paid the same tax in full?
The Foundation has posted a summary of the amicus brief here, and the full brief here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 10, 2011 10:19 AM
Posted to Ind. Sup.Ct. Decisions