Monday, August 4, 2014

Board Finds One Appeal Untimely and One Not Yet Before it; Taxpayer Failed to Proved Assessment Incorrect in Remaining Appeal

Excerpts of the Board's Determination follow:

34. For assessment year 2009, Petitioner filed his Form 130 with the PTABOA on February 20, 2009. There is nothing in the record to indicate the PTABOA acted on his request for review of the 2009 assessment. If a PTABOA does not act on a petition for review of assessment by the local assessing official within 180 days, the taxpayer can file his petition directly with the Board. I.C. § 6-1.1-15-1. The Form 131 filed with the Board listed the 2009 assessment of the subject property as being under appeal. The Board finds that since the PTABOA failed to timely respond to the Form 130 filed by Petitioner on February 20, 2009, the 2009 assessment of the subject property is properly before the Board.

35. For assessment year 2010, Petitioner filed his Form 131 on April 16, 2012, 59 days after the Notification of Final Assessment Determination was issued on February 17, 2012. In order to obtain a review by the Board, a party must file their Form 131 not later than forty-five days after the date of the notice of the determination by the PTABOA. Petitioner testified that he might have been out of the country or undergoing a medical procedure at that time that might have delayed him from filing the petition earlier. Petitioner offered no documentation or specific testimony to that effect. Petitioner’s appeal of the 2010 assessment is dismissed as untimely.

36. For assessment year 2011, Petitioner filed his Form 131 with the Board prior to filing his Form 130 with the PTABOA. Because he failed to file a separate petition for that tax year, Petitioner’s appeal is not properly before the Board. However, as more than 180 days have passed since Petitioner filed his Form 130 for 2011, and the PTABOA has not taken action, Petitioner may file a separate petition for 2011.

37. Thus, only the 2009 assessment is before the Board. Per the Property Record Card, in 2009 the subject property was assessed at $958,000 for the improvements and $63,200 for the land for a total assessment of $1,021,200. Resp’t Ex. 3.

38. An appraisal completed in conformance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice is often the most effective method to rebut the presumption that an assessment is correct. O’Donnell v. Dep’t of Local Gov’t Fin. 854 N.E.2d 90, 94 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006); Kooshtard Property VI, LLC v. White River Township Assessor, 836 N.E.2d 501, 506 N.6 (Ind. Tax Court 2005). Petitioner’s appraiser offered no opinion of value and no opinion of completeness for the property in 2009. Krause testimony.

39. Petitioner presented an analysis of three properties offered as comparable to the subject property. Pet’r Ex. A-1. The grid shows the subject property is .14 acres in size and the properties listed as comparable range in size from .31 acres to 7.32 acres. Petitioner’s comparison of the subject property with the comparable properties offered lacks probative value. A party offering such evidence must show that the properties are generally comparable to each other, and also must show how any relevant differences affect the relative values.  See Long, Supra 470-471 (holding that, in applying the sales-comparison approach, the taxpayers must explain how any differences between the properties affect the properties’ relative market value-in-use). Petitioner failed to explain or account for any differences in the properties, and how those differences affect the respective values.

40. Petitioner also presented a document titled “Calculation of Land Value for Dixie Way North Area” that ostensibly compares the value of the subject property’s land with the land values of three motels ranging in size from four to eight acres and ranging in value from $91,800 to $321,600. Pet’r Ex. B. Again, Petitioner failed to explain or account for any differences in the parcels and how those differences compare with the land of the subject property. See Long, Supra 470-471. Petitioner’s contentions as to the value of the subject property consist largely of conclusory statements. Conclusory statements do not constitute probative evidence. Whitley Products, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 704 N.E.2d 1113, 1119 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1998. Petitioner has failed to present a prima facie case for reduction of the assessment.

41. Respondent conceded at the hearing that the improvements to the subject property were only 60% complete rather than 100% complete as Respondent had previously determined. Respondent also testified that, using the appropriate tax tables, the total cost of the improvements to Petitioner’s property is $903,833. Respondent calculates that 60% of $903,833 results in an assessment of $543,300 for the improvements for 2009. Mandrici testimony.