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Monday, November 07, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Tax Court posts one today, decided Friday, another big box/dark box case

In Monroe County Assessor v. SCP 2007-C-26-002, LLC a/k/a CVS 3195-02, an 8-page opinion, Judge Wentworth writes:

On August 19, 2015, the Indiana Board of Tax Review issued a final determination valuing a CVS store in Bloomington, Indiana for purposes of the 2009 through 2013 assessments. The Monroe County Assessor has challenged that final determination, but the Court affirms. * * *

The Assessor contends that the Indiana Board’s final determination is contrary to law and must be reversed because it does not value the subject property in accordance with Indiana’s market value-in-use standard. (See, e.g., Pet. at 5-6 ¶¶ 15-16, 19-22; Oral Arg. Tr. at 14.) More specifically, the Assessor argues that the Meijer, Trimas Fasteners, and Millennium cases were wrongly decided by the Tax Court and thus, the Indiana Board’s “attachment” to them for purposes of determining a property’s market value-in-use is “unreasonable.” (See, e.g., Pet’r Br. at 2-3, 8-11.) The Assessor reasons that the Legislature enacted Indiana Code §§ 6-1.1-4-43 and -44 in 2015 to put the Indiana Board on notice that the Tax Court’s holdings in Meijer, Trimas Fasteners, and Millennium were “defective” and did not comport with the intended meaning of market value-in-use.

This very same argument has already been advanced in – and rejected by – the Tax Court. * * *

Because the Court believes its previous cases correctly explain the market value-in-use standard and that the Court is not the proper arena to change a law, it continues to stand by its analyses in those cases and need not repetitively address the argument in this opinion. * * *

The Assessor also argues that the Indiana Board’s final determination must be reversed because it is “muddled, inconsistent . . . [and] doesn’t make sense.” (Oral Arg. Tr. at 9, 11, 14 (asserting that the final determination’s inconsistencies make it arbitrary and capricious).) [ILB: note citing of oral argument.] * * *

Through this argument, the Assessor invites the Court to both revisit her first claim that the Tax Court has interpreted market value-in-use incorrectly, (see, e.g., Oral Arg. Tr. at 30-32 (challenging the Court to “tell me how . . . th[ese] different jumbled thoughts value the utility to this CVS” and asserting that “I don’t think value has anything to do in property tax cases anymore”)) [ILB: note citing of oral argument.], and establish bright-line rules for the application of comparable properties under the various approaches to value. The Court need not do either. * * *

The Assessor has not demonstrated that the Indiana Board’s final determination is either contrary to law or arbitrary and capricious. Accordingly, the Indiana Board’s final determination in this matter is AFFIRMED.

ILB: Another Monroe County v. CVS case (this one -00029) was heard by the Tax Court on Oct. 31 - see ILB post here.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 7, 2016 12:55 PM
Posted to Ind. Tax Ct. Decisions