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Thursday, June 19, 2014

Ind. Gov't. - "Tax Board rules for attorney Jeff Cooke, against county assessor"

Chris Morisse Vizza's story today in the Lafayette Journal Courier begins:

Attorney Jeff Cooke is celebrating a Tuesday decision by the Indiana Board of Tax Review that Tippecanoe County Assessor Linda Phillips improperly issued an interim property assessment on Cooke’s downtown Lafayette law office building.

The assessor last September notified Cooke that his building at 331 Columbia St. was valued at $161,900, then on Dec. 30 mailed another notice stating the assessment had been changed to $272,300.

He appealed to the Tippecanoe County Property Tax Board of Review, which in April upheld Phillips’ decision and the $113,400 increase.

Cooke then appealed to the state, claiming Phillips did not provide any data, such as comparable building sales, rental income or replacement costs, to show how the revised value was determined.

[County assessor] Phillips’ attorney, Brian Cusimano, contended the data and the IncomeWorks software program used to calculate property values is confidential because it contains income and loss information that could harm other property owners

The assessor is required by Indiana statute to explain the reasons for an interim assessment, specifically why an action was taken, and the facts or evidence on which the reasons were based, the Indiana Board of Tax Review ruled.

But Phillips “failed to designate any evidence to support” her belief that Cooke’s property was undervalued, the Indiana Board of Tax Review said.

The ruling goes on to state, “The board finds the interim assessment was improperly issued.” The assessed value for 2013 was reduced to $161,000.

Emphasis by ILB.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on June 19, 2014 12:32 PM
Posted to Indiana Government