Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Union Township v. State, Department of Local Government Finance

Tax Court of Indiana

November 12, 2015

UNION TOWNSHIP, ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Petitioner,
v.
STATE OF INDIANA, DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL GOVERNMENT FINANCE, Respondent

          ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER: PETER J. AGOSTINO, M. CATHERINE FANELLO, ANDERSON AGOSTINO & KELLER, P.C., South Bend, IN.

         ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: GREGORY F. ZOELLER, ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIANA, EVAN W. BARTEL, DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL, Indianapolis, IN.

Page 531

          ORDER ON RESPONDENT'S MOTION TO DISMISS

         Martha Blood Wentworth, Judge, Indiana Tax Court.

         On January 8, 2013, Union Township, St. Joseph County filed an original tax appeal challenging the two final determinations of the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF) that denied its two excess property tax levy appeals made in 2012. On June 18, 2013, the DLGF filed a Motion to Dismiss Union Township's appeal, asserting that it was moot. The Court, being duly advised, denies the DLGF's Motion.

         BACKGROUND

         Union Township is a civil taxing unit located in St. Joseph County, Indiana. In July of 2012, Union Township, together with the Union-Lakeville Fire Protection Territory, requested the DLGF's permission to impose an excess property tax levy. (See Pet'r Pet. at 3-4.) Their appeal documentation asserted that due to a $40 million " error" in calculating Union Township's 2010 net assessed valuation, they each suffered a property tax revenue shortfall in 2011. (See Pet'r Pet. at 4, Ex. B at 1-2, 13-14.) More specifically, they explained that the error was the result of the DLGF certifying Union Township's 2011 budget based on a net assessed valuation of $159,424,430, but St. Joseph County subsequently issuing the tax bills based on a lower net assessed valuation of $119,968,732. (See Pet'r Pet. at 4, Ex. B at 1-3.) Union Township and the Union-Lakeville Fire Protection Territory therefore requested the DLGF to " increas[e] the current [net assessed valuation] by at least $40,000,000 and [] allow[] a levy for 2012 payable 2013 sufficient to make up for the cumulative effect of th[at] error[]." (Pet'r Pet., Ex. B at 3.)

         On October 16, 2012, Union Township submitted a second request for the DLGF's permission to impose an excess levy. (See Pet'r Pet. at 5-6, Ex. B at 17-27.) This second appeal again identified the $40 million error as the cause of a property tax revenue shortfall in 2011 and specifically sought a levy increase in the amount of $51,929. (Pet'r Pet. at 6-7, Ex. B. at 23-29.)

Page 532

          On December 7, 2012, the DLGF issued two final determinations that denied both excess levy appeals. (Pet'r Pet., Ex. A.) In denying the appeals, the DLGF explained, among other things, that Union Township had not provided evidence to substantiate the existence of an actual $40 million error. (See Pet'r Pet., Ex. A.)

         On January 8, 2013, Union Township initiated an original tax appeal. On May 11, 2013, while the appeal was pending with the Court, the Indiana Legislature enacted Indiana Code § 6-1.1-18-18. That statute, which was effective immediately, stated:

Sec. 18. (a) This section applies to the Union-Lakeville fire protection territory in St. Joseph County.
(b) The executive of the provider unit may, upon approval by the fiscal body of the provider unit, submit a petition to the department of local government finance for an increase in the provider unit's maximum permissible ad valorem property tax levy for purposes of IC 36-8-19 for property taxes first due and payable in 2014.
(c) If a petition is submitted under subsection (b), the department of local government finance shall increase the provider unit's maximum permissible ad valorem property tax levy for purposes of IC 36-8-19 for property taxes first due and payable in 2014 by the amount necessary to increase the provider unit's maximum permissible ad valorem property tax levy for purposes of IC 36-8-19 to seventy percent (70%) of the amount of the provider unit's maximum ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.