APPEAL FROM FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE STATE BOARD OF TAX COMMISSIONERS
ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER: ALEX L. ROGERS, PATRICK M. O'BRIEN, STEERS SULLIVAN McNAMAR & ROGERS, Two Market Square Center, #500, P.O. Box 44126, Indianapolis, IN 46204
ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: LINLEY E. PEARSON, Attorney General of Indiana, By: TED J. HOLADAY, Deputy Attorney General, 219 State House, Indianapolis, IN 46204
The petitioner, Indiana Association of Seventh-Day Adventists, appeals the final determination of the respondent, State Board of Tax Commissioners, which denied the church's claim for exemption.
The church is an Indiana not-for-profit corporation organized for religious purposes. It owns churches, schools, parsonages, camps, and other real property in Indiana, including Timber Ridge Camp, the property hereunder consideration. Timber Ridge Camp consists of 175 contiguous acres located in Owen County, Indiana. The camp's improvements include a staff lodge, fourteen sleeping cabins, restrooms, a dining hall, an assembly hall, a craft building, and a caretaker's house. Timber Ridge Camp is primarily used as a summer church camp. It is also used as a retreat and weekend meeting place for teachers, ministers, and other church personnel for the balance of the year.
The church acquired the camp in 1961. There is no evidence as to when the caretaker's home was built although there is some indication that it was on the land at the time the property was acquired by the church.
Prior to 1983, the State Board granted a 100% exemption for all of the real estate and improvements. In 1983, the State Board denied the exemption for the caretaker's house and the land in excess of fifty acres.
The issues are restated as follows:
I) Whether the State Board's determination that the caretaker's house is not exempt is supported by substantial evidence;
II) Whether the State Board's determination that neither the caretaker's house nor the land in excess of fifty acres is exempt is arbitrary and capricious; and
III) Whether IC 6-1.1-10-25 is ...