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Kooshtard Property I, LLC v. Monroe County Assessor

Tax Court of Indiana

July 2, 2015

KOOSHTARD PROPERTY I, LLC, Petitioner,
v.
MONROE COUNTY ASSESSOR, Respondent

ON APPEAL FROM THE FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE INDIANA BOARD OF TAX REVIEW.

ATTORNEY FOR PETITIONER: TIMOTHY J. VRANA, TIMOTHY J. VRANA LLC, Columbus, IN.

ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: MARILYN S. MEIGHEN, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Carmel, IN; BRIAN A. CUSIMANO ATTORNEY AT LAW, Indianapolis, IN.

OPINION

Page 751

FISHER, Senior Judge.

Kooshtard Property I, LLC has challenged the Indiana Board of Tax Review's final determination that valued its land at $1,050,000 for the 2010 tax year.[1] The Court affirms.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Kooshtard owns and operates a gas station and convenience store on a three-acre parcel of land in Bloomington, Indiana. For the 2010 tax year, the Monroe County Assessor assigned Kooshtard's land an assessed value of $1,200,000.

Kooshtard appealed the land assessment first with the Monroe County Property

Page 752

Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and then with the Indiana Board.[2] On December 18, 2013, the Indiana Board conducted a hearing during which Kooshtard submitted, among other things, a Summary Appraisal Report, completed in conformance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The Appraisal valued Kooshtard's land at $300,000 based on comparable sales data. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 72-124.)

In response, the Assessor presented, among other things, a Real Estate Appraisal Report that was completed in conformance with USPAP. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 310-27.) The Assessor's Appraisal, prepared by Wayne Johnson, an Indiana certified general appraiser,[3] valued Kooshtard's entire property at $1,500,000 under the cost approach ($1,050,000 for land and $450,000 for improvements), $1,400,000 under the sales comparison approach, and $1,450,000 under the income approach. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 321-23.) In addition, Johnson testified that Kooshtard's Appraisal used unreliable sales data in arriving at its $300,000 value. Specifically, Johnson pointed out that: 1) the first sale contained improvements, but there were relevant sales of vacant land; 2) the second sale was located in a limited zoning area, unlike Kooshtard's property, and was tied to the sale of another property; 3) the third sale was a forced sale; and 4) the final sale required significant development for its intended use. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 364-71.)

On March 14, 2014, the Indiana Board issued a final determination explaining that it found Johnson's testimony regarding the unreliability of Kooshtard's Appraisal persuasive. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 38-39 ¶ ¶ 57.) The Indiana Board also explained that the Assessor's Appraisal best reflected the value of Kooshtard's property even though it contained certain flaws. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 40-41 ¶ ¶ 62-67 (explaining that the Assessor's Appraisal erroneously included the value of personal property).) Accordingly, the Indiana Board reduced Kooshtard's 2010 land assessment from $1,200,000 to $1,050,000, which coincided with Johnson's valuation of the land under the cost approach. (Compare Cert. Admin. R. at 40-41 ¶ ¶ 63, 68 with 321.)

On April 24, 2014, Kooshtard initiated this original tax appeal. The Court heard oral argument on January 23, 2015. Additional ...


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