On appeal, Idris contends that the Indiana Board’s final determination must be reversed for three reasons. First, Idris claims that the Indiana Board abused its discretion in finding that Kamenova failed to establish that their property was entitled to an obsolescence adjustment. Second, Idris claims that the Indiana Board abused its discretion in determining that the assessments of the three other units in their building failed to show that their property was over-assessed. Third, Idris claims that the Indiana Board erred in upholding their assessment given the Assessor’s improper use of the “one unit multiple units” classification.
Obsolescence, a form of depreciation, is either the functional or economic loss of value to property, which is expressed as a percentage reduction to an improvement’s replacement cost. See REAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENT GUIDELINES FOR 2002--VERSION A (incorporated by reference at 50 IND. ADMIN. CODE 2.3-1-2 (2002 Supp.)), Bk. 2, App. F at 4. For instance, external obsolescence (a loss of value caused by external factors) may be caused by environmental factors, such as noise pollution, crime, or
inharmonious land use. Id. at 4, 13. To establish a prima facie case for an obsolescence adjustment, a taxpayer must present probative evidence during the Indiana Board hearing that: (1) identifies the factors that are causing the obsolescence, and (2) quantifies the amount of obsolescence to which the taxpayer believes she is entitled. Meadowbrook N. Apartments v. Conner, 854 N.E.2d 950, 954 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2005). “The taxpayer must relate the factors (and therefore the quantification) of obsolescence to an actual loss in property value.” Id. (citation omitted).
In its final determination, the Indiana Board held that Idris and Kamenova were not entitled to an obsolescence adjustment because even assuming that Kamenova established that the undesirable view, odor problems, excessive noise, and crime issues had diminished the value of their property, she did not present evidence that showed what a more accurate assessment would be. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 19.) On appeal, Idris maintains that the Indiana Board abused its discretion in reaching this conclusion because Kamenova presented an overwhelming amount of reliable evidence that showed that obsolescence had indeed diminished the value of their condominium unit. (See Pet’rs’ Br. at 9-10.)
This Court will find that the Indiana Board abused its discretion if its final determination is clearly against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances before it or if the Indiana Board misinterprets the law. See Hubler, 938 N.E.2d at 315 n.5. The certified administrative record in the case reveals that Kamenova did not offer any quantification or any other evidence to substantiate her claim that certain factors had diminished the value of her property by $125,900 (i.e., $395,900 - $270,000). (See Cert. Admin. R. at 290-92.) Accordingly, the Court must find that Idris has not established that the Indiana Board abused its discretion with respect to this issue.
The other units
In Indiana, real property is assessed on the basis of its market value-in-use: the value “of a property for its current use, as reflected by the utility received by the owner or a similar user, from the property.” 2002 REAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENT MANUAL (2004 Reprint) (incorporated by reference at 50 I.A.C. 2.3-1-2) at 2. A taxpayer may establish that her assessment does not accurately reflect her property’s market value-in-use by presenting probative, market-based evidence such as sales information regarding
comparable properties. Id. at 5. To establish comparability, however, the taxpayer must explain to the Indiana Board the characteristics of her own property, how those characteristics relate to those of the purportedly comparable properties, and how any differences between the properties affect the relevant market value-in-use of the properties. Long v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 821 N.E.2d 466, 471 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2005), review denied.
In its final determination, the Indiana Board concluded that Kamenova’s evidence regarding the three other units in the building did not establish that her assessment should be reduced because she did not provide any meaningful analysis as to the comparability of those properties. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 19-20.) Idris contends that the Indiana Board abused its discretion in reaching this conclusion because it was evident that those units were larger than her unit and their assessments were significantly less than hers. (See Pet’rs’ Br. at 7-8; Oral Arg. Tr. at 11.) (See also Cert. Admin. R. at 227, 235, 240-41, 249.)
As the Indiana Board properly explained, such a comparison falls short of establishing comparability for purposes of an assessment reduction. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 19-20.) See also Long, 821 N.E.2d at 470-71 (merely stating that a property is larger or smaller than another is insufficient to establish comparability). Moreover, at no point did Kamenova actually describe her own unit’s characteristics nor did she attempt
to explain how any similarities or differences between her unit and the purportedly comparable units affected the market value-in-use of the subject property. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 227, 235, 240-41, 249.) Finally, the Marion County Tax Reports and real estate listings upon which Kamenova relied not only overtly qualified their own accuracy but also indicated that only one of the three units was larger than Kamenova’s property. (Compare Cert. Admin. R. at 179-88 with 199.) Consequently, the Court finds that Idris has not demonstrated that the Indiana Board abused its discretion with respect to this issue.
The one unit multiple units classification
Lastly, Idris contends that the Indiana Board’s final determination must be reversed because it sanctions the Assessor’s purported erroneous use of the “one unit multiple units” classification. (See Pet’rs’ Br. at 8.) Idris explains that this classification is inapplicable because it implies that her building contains a single family who merely live in separate apartments, when it clearly does not. (See Oral Arg. Tr. at 4, 7.)
As an initial matter, other than Idris’s assertion that the value of the subject property was based on the “one unit multiple units” classification, there is no evidence in the record to show that the Assessor used such a classification. (See generally Cert. Admin. R.) Moreover, the record in this case establishes that Idris’s one unit multiple units argument was not presented to the Indiana Board. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 2-5, 175-293.) It is well-settled that this Court generally cannot review an issue or argument raised for the first time on appeal because there would be no written findings in the record for the Court to review. See, e.g., Scheid v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 560 N.E.2d 1283, 1284-86 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1990); IND. CODE § 33-26-6-3(b) (2014). Consequently, the Court finds that Idris has waived this argument because Kamenova could have, but failed to, present it to the Indiana Board.