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Monroe County Assessor v. Kooshtard Property I, LLC

Tax Court of Indiana

July 2, 2015

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

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

ATTORNEY FOR PETITIONER: MARILYN S. MEIGHEN, ATTORNEY AT LAW, Carmel, IN.

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

OPINION

Page 755

FISHER, Senior Judge.

This case examines whether the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred in reducing Kooshtard Property I, LLC's land assessments for the 2008, 2009, and 2011 tax years (the years at issue).[1] The Court finds no error.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Kooshtard owns a three-acre parcel of land in Bloomington, Indiana on which it operates a gas station and convenience store. During the years at issue, the Monroe County Assessor assigned Kooshtard's land an assessed value of $1,200,000.

Kooshtard appealed the land assessments first with the Monroe County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and then with the Indiana Board. On August 16, 2012, the Indiana Board conducted a hearing during which Kooshtard presented, among other things, a Summary Appraisal Report (Appraisal), completed in conformance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP).[2] (See Cert. Admin. R. at 108-160.) The Appraisal valued the land at $300,000 as of March 1, 2006, based on the adjusted sales prices of four comparable properties.[3] (See Cert. Admin. R. at 150-52.)

In response, the Assessor claimed that the Appraisal lacked probative value for several reasons. For example, the Assessor

Page 756

pointed out that its March 1, 2006 valuation date was not the proper valuation date for any of the years at issue.[4] (See Cert. Admin. R. at 230-31.) In addition, the Assessor claimed the Appraisal's " extreme" adjustments to the sales prices of the comparable properties indicated that those properties were not comparable to Kooshtard's land at all. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 235-36, 245-47, 254-55.) The Assessor also claimed that even if the properties were comparable, the Appraisal was flawed because it did not contain the calculations regarding, and the evidence to support, any of the " extreme" adjustments. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 233-36, 247-51.) Finally, the Assessor asked the Indiana Board to uphold her assessments because each was supported by certain sales data. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 265-73, 293.)

On October 19, 2012, the Indiana Board issued a final determination in which it found that despite certain flaws, the Appraisal provided the best indication of the value of Kooshtard's land. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 55-62 ¶ ¶ 30-47.) Accordingly, the Indiana Board reduced Kooshtard's land assessment from $1.2 million to $300,000 for each of the years at issue.

On November 7, 2012, the Assessor initiated this original tax appeal. The Court heard oral argument on June 7, 2013. Additional ...


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