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Grandville Cooperative, Inc. v. O'Connor

Tax Court of Indiana

January 20, 2015

GRANDVILLE COOPERATIVE, INC., Petitioner,
v.
JOSEPH P. O'CONNOR, MARION COUNTY ASSESSOR, Respondent

ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER: JAMES F. BEATTY, JESSICA L. FINDLEY, DONALD D. LEVENHAGEN, KATHRYN MERRITT-THRASHER, MEGAN M. PIAZZA, LANDMAN BEATTY, LAWYERS, Indianapolis, IN.

ATTORNEY FOR RESPONDENT: JOHN C. SLATTEN, MARION COUNTY ASSESSOR'S OFFICE, Indianapolis, IN.

Page 834

ORDER ON RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

Martha Blood Wentworth, Judge.

Joseph P. O'Connor in his official capacity as the Marion County Assessor has moved to dismiss Grandville Cooperative, Inc.'s appeal, claiming that the Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction. The Court grants the Assessor's motion.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The events giving rise to this matter commenced several years ago. On April 26, 2005, Grandville filed an Application for Property Tax Exemption with the Assessor, claiming that its 156-unit multi-family cooperative apartment complex and personal property were exempt from property

Page 835

taxation because they were owned, occupied, and exclusively used for the charitable purpose of providing affordable housing to low-income persons. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 102-206.) The Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA) granted Grandville's exemption application. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 235-38.) Grandville's property remained exempt from property tax for the next four years. (See, e.g., Cert. Admin. R. at 239-46.)

In 2009, this Court issued a decision in which it held that the provision of affordable housing to low-income persons was not a per se charitable purpose. See Jamestown Homes of Mishawaka, Inc. v. St. Joseph Cnty. Assessor, 909 N.E.2d 1138, 1144 (Ind.Tax Ct. 2009), review denied. As a result, the PTABOA questioned several of its prior exemption determinations, including Grandville's. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 503-04, 512-13.) On January 31, 2011, the PTABOA sent Grandville a letter requesting that it complete a four-page worksheet " to help [the PTABOA] better understand the services [that Grandville] provides to [its] tenants." (See Cert. Admin. R. at 247-53.) The PTABOA explained that it would use the worksheet to review Grandville's exemption status and that it may hold a hearing. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 247.) Grandville completed and returned the worksheet to the PTABOA as requested. On March 8, 2011, after conducting a hearing, the PTABOA revoked Grandville's exemption for the 2010 tax year. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 254-57.)

On April 5, 2011, Grandville appealed to the Indiana Board of Tax Review, alleging that the PTABOA lacked the statutory authority to revoke its 2010 exemption. (See, e.g., Cert. Admin. R. at 3-6, 11-12.) Alternatively, Grandville alleged that the PTABOA's exemption revocation was untimely and ignored the fact that its property had been owned, occupied, and exclusively used for charitable purposes since 2005. (See, e.g., Cert. Admin. R. at 12-16.) On September 16, 2011, Grandville filed a Motion for Summary Judgment, asserting that the PTABOA's unilateral revocation of its exemption was improper not only because it lacked the statutory authority to do so but also because it was untimely. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 207-20.) On January 14, 2014, after conducting a hearing, the Indiana Board issued an order denying Grandville's Motion for Summary Judgment. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 317-28.)

On January 27, 2014, Grandville filed a Petition for Rehearing with the Indiana Board. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 329-36, 346-61.) The Indiana Board treated Grandville's Petition for Rehearing as a Motion to Reconsider and on April 24, 2014, affirmed its denial of Grandville's Motion for Summary Judgment. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 337-38, 364-75.) The Indiana Board explained that Indiana Code § 6-1.1-11-1 et seq. authorized the PTABOA's exemption revocation and that the revocation was both timely and in compliance with all applicable notice requirements. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 364-75.)

On June 9, 2014, Grandville appealed to this Court. On August 15, 2014, the Assessor filed a Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Jurisdiction. The Court held a hearing on October 29, 2014.[1] ...


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