Friday, January 06, 2017
Ind. Gov't. - "Boone County donates $10,000 to fund amicus brief in pivotal tax court appeal"
Rod Rose of the Lebanon Reporter writes this morning in a lengthy story that begins:
Funds are being sought from the state's cities, towns and counties to help pay for an appeal of the Indiana Tax Court’s September decision that slashed the tax value of a Howard County Kohls store.ILB: This is the latest in a long list of posts on the big box/dark box issue. This post, from Dec. 20, 2016, quoted the Bloomington Herald-Times story that:
The Indiana Court of Appeals upheld the tax court’s decision. Howard County is asking the Indiana Supreme Court to hear an appeal, county attorney Bob Clutter said.
At issue is whether property tax values on a “big box” store — any building larger than 500,000 square feet — can be based on the value used for a vacant store — a so-called “dark box.”
Officials at the local level fear that should Kohls’ argument remain unchallenged, it could have a devastating impact on the budgets of cities, towns and counties.
Tuesday, the Boone County Commissioners authorized a $10,000 contribution for an amicus brief to be filed if the Supreme Court agrees to take the case. That brief would be written by Accelerating Indiana Municipalities (formerly the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns) and the Indiana Municipal Lawyers Association. An amicus is an impartial advisor to a court case.
Monroe County Assessor Judy Sharp said she plans to take the North College Avenue CVS store appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court after the Indiana Tax Court last month affirmed a lower tax board’s ruling that would lower the property assessments for multiple years at that store. * * *
Sharp said the hope is that the state Supreme Court will fast-track hearing the cases from Monroe and Howard counties, because what is decided at that level is likely to affect not only the county named in each case, but others as well.