« Courts - "On average, 97 percent of defendants plead guilty in federal court." | Main | Not Law - "Gannett to Add USA Today to Local Papers" »

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ind. Decisions - Tax Court decides one case today

In Roderick E. Kellam v. Fountain County Assessor, a 9-page opinion, Judge Wentworth writes:

Roderick E. Kellam appeals the Indiana Board’s final determination denying a homestead standard deduction on his Fountain County property for the 2010 tax year. The Court reverses. * * *

To demonstrate that he did not receive a homestead deduction for his Wells County property in 2010, Kellam presented a document he received from the Fountain County Assessor containing information about the Wells County property. * * * Therefore, a finding that Kellam did not qualify for a homestead deduction on the 2010 Fountain County property because he had a 2010 homestead deduction on a Wells County property is unsupported by substantial or reliable evidence. * * *

The Indiana Board also appears to have concluded that the Fountain County property was not Kellam’s “principal place of residence” because Kellam was not physically residing there. The legal standard for determining an individual’s principal place of residence, however, depends on the “intention” to return to the property after an absence, not continuous physical presence at the property. See 50 I.A.C. 24-2-5. In addition to explaining that he was not physically residing at the property because he was renovating it, Kellam testified that he alone intended to seek the homestead deduction for the Fountain County property. Moreover, as further evidence of his intent, the certified administrative record reveals that he used the Fountain County property as his mailing address; as the location of his voter registration; and as the address on his driver’s license, bank statements, and tax returns. Accordingly, the Indiana Board’s conclusion that the Fountain County property was not Kellam’s principal place of residence is contrary to law.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 10, 2013 09:32 PM
Posted to Ind. Tax Ct. Decisions