Monday, February 24, 2014

Board Finds Petitioner Failed to Rebut Assessed Value of Rental Properties with Lease Information

Excerpts of the Board's Determination follow:

The GRM is the preferred method for valuing rental properties with fewer than four units. Ind. Code § 6-1.1-4-39(b). The properties in this appeal are both single family rental properties. The Petitioners do not live at either property.

33. The Petitioners presented the leases for the properties under appeal, but did not provide any calculation or analysis showing the market values of the properties based on the GRM approach. Further, the Petitioners want to use actual rents to determine market value based on GRM, but failed to show their rents are consistent with similar properties in the market. See Indiana MCH, LLC v. Scott County Assessor, 987 N.E.2d 1182, 1185-6 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2013). It is necessary to consider data from other comparable properties in order to protect against distortions and inaccurate value estimates that might be caused by extraneous factors (such as bad management or poor business decisions) that have nothing to do with the inherent value of a property. Id. at 1184.

34. While critical of the Respondent’s choice of comparable properties and the adjustments made in the sales comparison analyses, the Petitioners failed to offer alternate analysis or submit calculations of their own to establish values. In fact, the Petitioners offered no analysis based on GRM, or any alternative approach otherwise to determine value in this case. A petitioner seeking review of a determination of an assessing official has the burden to establish a prima facie case proving that the current assessment is incorrect, and specifically what the correct assessment would be. See Meridian Towers East & West v. Washington Township Assessor, 805 N.E.2d 475, 478 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2003); see also, Clark v. State Board of Tax Commissioners, 694 N.E.2d 1230 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1998).

35. Despite the errors in the 2010 Valuation by GRM and the mathematical errors in the sales analysis, the Petitioners failed to establish a prima facie case for a reduction in the assessed values for 2217 Southaven Boulevard and 2319 Southaven Boulevard. The Petitioners offered no independent analysis or alternative approach to determine value in this case. Where a petitioner has not supported its claims with probative evidence, or any evidence in this case, a respondent’s duty to support these assessments with substantial evidence was not triggered. Lacy Diversified Indus. LTD v. Dep’t of Local Gov’t Fin., 799.