Saturday, August 31, 2013

News Reports Shelby County Business Appeals Assessment to Indiana Supreme Court

From the Shelbyville News:

For possibly the first time in Shelby County history, a local business has taken its property assessment appeal to the Indiana Supreme Court.

Kooshtard Property VIII, LLC has petitioned the highest court in the state to review an Indiana Tax Court ruling that it failed to prove its land was over-assessed by the Shelby County Assessor’s Office.

“Nobody can think of a time when Shelby County went to the supreme court before on any of their appeals,” Shelby County Assessor Anne Thurston said.

At issue is a two-acre parcel located at 2905 E. State Road 44 in Shelbyville, home of the Big Foot convenience store and a gas station.

According to court documents, county assessing officials applied a multiplier of 100 percent to the property value in the 2006 and 2007 tax years, doubling its value from a base rate of $200,000 per acre to $400,000 per acre.

Kooshtard took its appeal to the Indiana Board of Tax Review in 2009, arguing that because the multiplier was not applied to the adjacent properties it failed to meet uniformity requirements and should not be applied to its own.

The neighboring properties included a nearby automotive sales/service center, a fast-food restaurant and an office building, according to court documents.

When the IBTR rejected the argument, Kooshtard moved to the Tax Court but had no better luck. It agreed with the IBTR that Kooshtard failed to present market-based evidence to support its claim.

Last month, the company filed a brief with the Supreme Court which was followed with a filing last week by attorneys for the Shelby County Assessor’s Office.

Kooshtard has yet one more opportunity to file a brief before the court makes a final decision to accept the judgment of the lower courts and deny a hearing or hear the case.

“We feel confident going forward that the Supreme Court will do the same as the lower courts,” in denying the claim, said Jeff Wuensch, Nexus Group COO, said. “But you never know.”