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Friday, January 13, 2017

Ind. Gov't. - More on "Boone County donates $10,000 to fund amicus brief in pivotal tax court appeal"

Updating this Jan. 6th ILB post, Rod Rose follows up last week's "big box/dark box tax" appeal story in The Lebanon Reporter with another, dated Jan. 12 and headed "Chief justice sets filing deadline for amicus briefs in tax bill case." Some quotes:

On Friday, Chief Justice Loretta H. Rush granted the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns — now known as Accelerate Indiana Municipalities — and IMLA permission to file an amicus brief by no later than Jan. 24. She denied an objection filed by Paul Jones Law, LLC, on behalf of Kohl’s Indiana LP, which claimed “there is no good cause” to grant IACT and IMLA’s request to file “because being unaware of the proceedings does not demonstrate good cause,” and that “all parties have completed the original briefing schedule and the filing of additional briefs places an undue burden” on Kohl’s.

Rush said Kohl’s must respond to the IACT/IMLA brief 20 days after it is filed.

Other amicus briefs have been filed by the Indiana Legal Foundation, Inc., and the Association of Indiana Counties. The ILF opposes the supreme court hearing the tax court appeal, claiming acceptance “would be a dangerous affront to stability in the law with a negative impact on Indiana businesses.”

At issue is the taxable value of an 88,242-square-foot Kohl’s at the Boulevard Crossing shopping center in Kokomo. The Howard County Assessor put those tax values at $5.984 million, $5.685 million and $5.906 million in 2010, 2011 and 2012 respectively. Kohl’s unsuccessfully appealed to the Howard County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals, then successfully appealed to the Indiana Board of Tax Review. Howard County took that decision to the Indiana Tax Court, where Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth in September ruled in favor of the retailer. * * *

Tuesday, Boone County Commissioner Jeff Wolfe told the county council that he has verbal agreements from other counties to contribute to the IACT/IMLA brief’s costs. Towns and cities are likely to be willing to contribute as well because of the potential devastating impact on their budgets, should Kohl’s argument be upheld and distribution and manufacturing companies seek similar relief from tax bills.

The story also reports:
Howard County asked the Indiana Court of Appeals to overrule the tax court. The appellate court instead upheld the tax court, prompting Howard County to seek an Indiana Supreme Court ruling.
The ILB believes the above is incorrect, in that appeals from Tax Court decisions would go directly to the Supreme Court.

Here is the docket
in Howard County Assessor v. Kohl's Indiana LP. Here is the ILB summary of the Sept. 7, 2016 Tax Court opinion.

Here is the 43-page Howard County petition for review, filed with the Supreme Court Nov. 7, 2016.

Here is the 27-page amicus brief of the Indiana County Assessors Ass'n., filed Nov. 23, 2016.

Here is the 41-page Kohl's brief in response, filed Dec. 14, 2016.

Here is the 22-page amicus brief of the Indiana Legal Foundation, filed Dec. 19, 2016.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on January 13, 2017 11:56 AM
Posted to Ind. Tax Ct. Decisions | Indiana Courts | Indiana Government