APPEAL FROM FINAL DETERMINATION OF STATE BOARD OF TAX COMMISSIONERS
ATTORNEY FOR PETITIONER: ERNEST J. SZARWARK, BARNES & THORNBURG, 6th Floor, 1st Source Bank Center, South Bend, IN 46601
ATTORNEY FOR RESPONDENT: LINLEY E. PEARSON, Attorney General of Indiana, By: MARILYN S. MEIGHEN, Deputy Attorney General, 219 State House, Indianapolis, IN 46204
This case concerns an appeal from the final determination of the State Board-of Tax Commissioners denying the Plaintiff an exemption claimed under IC 6-1.1-10-30. The parties have stipulated as follows:
1. Gulf Stream is a corporation organized, existing, and in good standing, for all periods relevant hereto, under the laws of the State of Indiana, with its principal place of business in Nappanee, Elkhart County, Indiana.
2. For all periods relevant hereto, Gulf Stream was engaged in the conversion and manufacture of motor homes and travel trailers (collectively "units").
3. The units were converted and/or manufactured by Gulf Stream in its facilities in Nappanee, Elkhart County, Indiana. Such units will hereinafter be referred to as "finished units".
4. The finished units were sold by Gulf Stream on a wholesale basis to retail dealers throughout the United States and Canada.
5. Gulf Stream converted and/or manufactured some units in response to specific orders from retail dealers. Other units were manufactured for stock.
6. In computing its Indiana personal property tax liability for the year 1985 (the year in issue herein), Gulf Stream determined its average inventory based on its inventory as of the start of the first day of each calendar month during the preceding year (1984). The Tax Board does not contest Gulf Stream's election of this average inventory method.
7. At the end of each calendar month during 1984, Gulf Stream had binding purchase orders for some of its finished units.
8. All finished units were warehoused by Gulf Stream in an area separate from its manufacturing area. These finished units remained in the separate warehouse area until a driver was located or became available to transport the finished units, or until Gulf Stream received an order for the finished units.
9. Finished units, the value of which were omitted from the 1985 Indiana personal property tax return, are at issue in this case.
10. Under the average inventory method (referred to in Stipulation 6 above), Gulf Stream had finished units on hand with a cost of $1,076,655.00. The finished units may be classified into three (3) distinct categories:
a. Finished units with a cost of $582,306.00 which were subject to binding, preexisting purchase orders. These finished units were treated as sold ...