Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Board Finds Respondent with Burden Failed to Support the Assessed Value of Taxpayer's Property with Comparable Analysis

Excerpts of the Board's Determination follow:

Potts stated that the property’s assessed value is likely too low. In support of this contention, Potts presented a sales comparison analysis he prepared. Potts identified two commercial properties and adjusted those sales for differences in size, age, construction, and site size based on costs in the Indiana assessment guidelines. Potts also developed a location adjustment for the comparable property located in Brookston.

d. On March 7, 2013, Potts was certified by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance as a professional appraiser authorized to provide technical assistance to White County. But he did not indicate that he complied with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) in preparing the sales comparison analysis. Further, Potts failed to show how he arrived at many of the adjustments he made for the many differences between the comparable properties and the subject property. For example, Potts developed a location adjustment of -$13,600 for the difference in location between the subject property and comparable 2. He also made adjustments of -$6,800 based on the dates each property was built, and +$1,600 based on the type of building on each of the properties. Potts made multiple adjustments, but failed to account for how he arrived at each adjustment. It is not clear to the Board what objective data Potts used to justify the adjustments.

e. Finally, Potts stated that he was not advocating for a value in his analysis for the subject property. He merely claimed his evidence showed that lowering the assessment was not appropriate.

f. The adjustments used to support the conclusion the assessment should not be lowered were a significant part of the Respondent’s case. Nevertheless, Potts failed to explain to the Board how he arrived at the specific adjustment numbers. Based on Potts’ failure to show how he arrived at such an integral part of the analysis, the Board does not find his evidence or testimony to be probative.

g. In other cases where the Respondent has the burden to prove the assessment is correct and failed to carry that burden, the Board has ordered that the assessment be returned to the assessed value of the preceding year. In this case, the assessment is reduced to $14,400.