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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Ind. Courts - A look at the Indiana Tax Court

The ILB has received a number of notes from readers asking about the time it takes to get a decision from the Indiana Tax Court. The following table shows disposition time for final Tax Court opinions for the first nine months of 2014.

Tax Court: Final Decisions This Year (1/1/14 - 9/1/14)
Opinion Transmitted to Tax Court Transmitted to Oral Argument Oral Argument Oral Argument to Opinion Opinion Date/Author Total Time
Gary School v. DLGF (45T10-1104-TA-30) 4/19/11 182 10/18/11 (Wentworth) 1046 8/29/14 (Wentworth) 1228
Ind'pls Racquet Club v. Marion Co.Ass. (49T10-1201-TA-1) 1/17/12 295 11/7/12 (Wentworth) 652 8/21/14 (Fisher) 947
Howard Co.Ass. v. Kokomo Mall (49T10-1109-TA-00056) 9/16/11 217 4/20/12 (Wentworth) 838 8/6/14 (Fisher) 1065
Clark Co. v. DLGF (39T10-1102-TA-00009) 2/7/11 350 1/23/12 (Wentworth) 884 6/25/14 (Wentworth) 1234
Speedway Pub.Lib. v. DLGF (49T10-1103-TA-22) 3/17/11 343 2/13/12 (Wentworth) 862 6/24/14 (Fisher) 1195
Housing Ptn. v. Barth.Co. (49T10-1005-TA-23) 5/21/10 543 11/15/11 (Wentworth) 934 6/6/14 (Wentworth) 1477
Idris v. Marion Co.Ass. (49T10-1108-TA-49) 8/3/11 331 6/11/12 (Wentworth) 723 6/4/14 (Fisher) 1036
McKeeman v. Stueben Co.Ass. (02T10-1104-TA-31) 4/22/11 179 10/18/11 (Wentworth) 953 5/28/14 (Fisher) 1132
Hamilton Co.Ass. v. SPD Realty (49T10-1104-TA-28) 4/13/11 216 11/15/11 (Wentworth) 924 5/27/14 (Wentworth) 1140
Van Buren Twp. v. DLGF (49T10-1104-TA-27) 4/11/11 192 10/20/11 (Wentworth) 939 5/16/14 (Wentworth) 1131
Hoosier Roll Shop v. IDOR (49T10-1104-TA-29) 4/21/11 386 5/11/12 (Fisher) 733 5/14/14 (Fisher) 1119
Tannins v. IDOR (49T10-1303-SC-45) 3/22/13 294 1/10/14 (Wentworth) 80 3/31/14 (Wentworth) 374
Frat.Order Eagles v. Morgan Co. (49T10-1201-TA-4) 1/20/12 279 10/25/12 (Wentworth) 509 3/18/14 (Wentworth) 788
Thorsness v. Porter Co.Ass. (49T10-1102-TA-14) 2/10/11 183 8/12/11 (Wentworth) 895 1/23/14 (Wentworth) 1078
AVERAGES (in days)   285   784   1067

The left column in the table links to each opinion and its case docket. Where the oral arguments have been video-archived, links are included.

The final row of the table shows the averages:

Compare this to the statistics for the Supreme Court's first quarter:During the first nine months of 2014, Judge Wentworth has issued 8 final opinions, and Sr. Judge Fisher has issued six final opinions. However, Judge Wentworth conducted all but one of the 14 oral arguments or hearings, meaning that 5 of Sr. Judge Fisher's opinions were based on hearings conducted by Judge Wentworth. Not shown on the table are 6 non-final opinions issued by Judge Wentworth in 2014, including this one issued August 29, dealing with a motion to strike 4 exhibits, and three non-dispositive rulings relating to a single case, filed in 2010 (Popovich).

The Annual Reports of the Tax Court, dating back to 2004, are located here. Each is two pages in length and distinguishes between final and non-dispositive written decisions. Each lists the carryover cases from the preceding year, and the new cases filed in the year covered by the Report. Using this information the ILB has created three charts.

Case backlog from 2004 to the start of 2014:

New cases filed from 2004 to the start of 2014:

Final opinions (decisions on merits) filed from 2004 to the start of 2014:

Notable from the three charts is that while the number of new cases filed has gone down starting in 2011, the backlog has soared during the same period. Also notable is that, beginning in 2011, when there are effectively two tax court judges, the number of decisions on merits issued each year has been less than that of previous years, when there was only one tax court judge.

The current staffing of the Tax Court, according to a 2012 budget request transmittal letter from Judge Wentworth, includes:

Judge Fisher served as Tax Court judge from the court's creation in 1986 until his replacement by Judge Wentworth, who was appointed by Governor Daniels on December 22, 2010. Since that time, Judge Fisher has served the Tax Court as a Senior Judge. Judge Wentworth is up for retention at the general election this November. The voters will be asked whether she should be retained for a 10-year term.

Finally, the ILB has assembled a list of the hearings of the Tax Court already held or set for a future date in 2014.

Hearings of the Tax Court in 2014

Tax Court hearings are recorded on the Court calendar, which was my initial source in preparing this list. I have added the date the appeal was initially filed with the Tax Court. In those instances where there has been a ruling subsequent to the hearing, I have so indicated with a link to the opinion. Hearings are in the Statehouse unless otherwise indicated (In 2014 only one case has been heard outside the Statehouse). 19 hearings have been set or scheduled in 2014 as of this writing.

January, 2014

  • Jan. 10, 2014 Tannins of Indianapolis, LLC v. Indiana Dep't of State Revenue (49T10-1303-SC-45) This is a small claims trial. [Filed 4/10/13]

  • Jan. 17, 2014 Orbitz, LLC v. Indiana Dep't of State Revenue (49T10-0903-TA-10) This is a hearing on the parties' motions for summary judgment. [Filed 4/23/09]

  • Jan. 27, 2014 Miller Pipeline Corp. v. Indiana Dep't of State Revenue (49T10-1012-TA-64) The taxpayer challenges whether sales tax is owed on certain items used in its business operations. Senior Judge Thomas G. Fisher, presiding. [Filed 1/6/11]

  • Jan. 28, 2014 Pinnacle Entertainment, Inc. v. Indiana Dep't of State Revenue (49T10-1206-TA-34) This is a hearing on a partial motion for summary judgment. Senior Judge Thomas G. Fisher, presiding. [Filed 6/18/12]
February, 2014

  • Feb. 5, 2014 Washington Township Assessor, et. al. v. Verizon Data Services, Inc. (49T10-1102-TA-13) Petitioners challenge whether the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred in granting summary judgment to Respondent because the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals failed to timely issue a final determination on Respondent's personal property tax appeal thereby making the Respondent's self-reported assessment was final. [Filed 2/24/11]

  • Feb. 14, 2014 Crystal Flash Petroleum, LLC v. Indiana Dep't of State Revenue (49T10-1104-TA-25) This is a hearing on the Respondent's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. [Filed 4/12/11]

  • Feb. 27, 2014 RDM Sales & Service, Inc. v. Indiana Dep't of State Revenue (82T10-1001-TA-3) This is a hearing on the parties' motions for summary judgment. [Filed 3/24/10]
March, 2014

  • March 6, 2014 Larry G. Jones and Sharon F. Jones v. Jefferson Co. Assessor (39T10-1308-TA-68) Taxpayers challenge whether the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred in denying their 2008/2009 real property assessment appeals. Location: Jefferson County Courthouse, Madison, IN. [Filed 9/9/13]

  • March 20, 2014 Fresenius USA Marketing, Inc. v. Indiana Dep't of State Revenue (49T10-1008-TA-45) This is a hearing on the parties' motions for summary judgment. [Filed 10/21/10]
April 2014

  • April 7, 2014 Paul J. Elmer & Carol A. N. Elmer v. Ind. Dep't of State Revenue (49T10-1110-TA-64) This is a hearing on the Respondent's Motion for Summary Judgment. Senior Judge Thomas G. Fisher, presiding. [Filed 10/31/11]
May, 2014

  • May 8, 2014 West Ohio II, LLC v. Marion Co. Assessor, et. al. (49T10-1404-TA-9) This is a hearing on Petitioner's Petition to Enjoin Collection of Tax. [Filed 4/14/4]

  • May 8, 2014 Washington Park Cemetery Assoc., Inc. v. Marion Co. Assessor, et. al. (49T10-1404-TA-10) This is a hearing on Petitioner's Petition to Enjoin Collection of Tax. [Filed 4/29/14]

  • May 23, 2014 Spencer Co. Assessor, et. al. v. AK Steel Corp. (49T10-1306-TA-57) This is a hearing on the Respondent's motion for summary judgment. [Filed 7/3/13]

  • May 29, 2014 Kathryn Gillette v. Brown Co. Assessor (49T10-1305-TA-53) This is an oral argument involving whether the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred when it determined that Petitioner's submission of insurance values on her property did not establish its market value-in-use.[Filed 5/29/13]
June , 2014

  • June 19, 2014 Property Development Co. Four, LLC v. Grant Co. Assessor (49T10-1401-TA-3) The taxpayer challenges whether the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred when it determined that an Assessor could reassess property retroactively under Indiana Code ยง 6-1.1-9-5. [Filed 1/31/14]
July 2014
  • July 31, 2014 Popovich v. IDOR (49T10-1010-TA-53) This is a hearing on Petitioner's Motion for Trial Rule 37 Sanctions. [Filed 10/4/10]
August 2014 (none)

September, 2014

  • Sept. 5, 2015 Hamilton Southeastern Utilities, Inc. v. Ind. Dep't of State Revenue (49T10-1210-TA-68) This is a hearing on the Parties' motions for summary judgment and Petitioner's motion to strike a portion of Respondent's designated evidence. [Filed 10/29/12]

  • Sept. 25, 2014 Ind. Dep't State Revenue, Inheritance Tax Division v. Estate of Janice Hamblin (49T10-1403-TA-6) The Department of Revenue, Inheritance Tax Division challenges whether the courty court erred in determining that the annuity interests transferred by the decedent via a trust, could be valued as though they were life estates. Senior Judge Thomas G. Fisher presiding. [Filed 3/11/14]
October, 2014

  • Oct. 9, 2014 Pulte Homes of Indiana, LLC v. Hendricks County Assessor (49T10-1302-TA-11) The Taxpayer challenges whether the Board erred in dismissing taxpayer's appeal on the basis that the issue raised by taxpayer on its Form 133 (that common areas of developments have a zero value) was not an objective error, but rather a subjective error which necessitated the filing of a Form 131. [Filed 2/11/13]
November, 2014 (none yet)

December, 2014 (none yet)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 2, 2014 01:43 PM
Posted to Ind. Tax Ct. Decisions | Indiana Courts | Indiana Government