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.
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. 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
Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and then with the Indiana Board. 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, 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 ...