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Marion County Assessor v. Gateway Arthur, Inc.

Tax Court of Indiana

December 3, 2015

MARION COUNTY ASSESSOR, Petitioner,
v.
GATEWAY ARTHUR, INC., Respondent

         As Corrected January 22, 2016.

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

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

         ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: PAUL M. JONES, JR., MATTHEW J. EHINGER, ICE MILLER LLP, Indianapolis, IN.

          OPINION

Page 877

         FISHER, Senior Judge.

         This case examines whether the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred in reducing Gateway Arthur, Inc.'s real property assessment for the 2006 tax year. The Court finds that the Indiana Board did not err.[1]

         

Page 878

         FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         During the 2006 tax year, Gateway Arthur owned a portion of the Indianapolis retail shopping center known as The Shoppes at County Line Road. Specifically, Gateway Arthur owned six parcels that contained: 1) three buildings with about 270,000 square feet of leasable space; 2) a retention pond; 3) two access roads; and 4) a pylon sign (collectively, " the subject property" ). The Marion County Assessor assigned the subject property a total assessed value of $17,451,900 for the 2006 tax year.

         By letter dated July 4, 2008, Gateway Arthur challenged its 2006 assessment with the Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (" PTABOA" ). The PTABOA, however, did not issue a decision in its appeal within the statutorily prescribed period. As a result, Gateway Arthur sought relief from the Indiana Board on June 3, 2011. Before the Indiana Board conducted the administrative hearing, it determined that the Assessor bore the burden of proof with respect to the appeal because the subject property's assessment had increased more than 5% from 2005 to 2006. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 231-42.)

         The Indiana Board conducted a hearing on May 10, 2012, during which the Assessor presented, among other things, an Income Analysis that valued only the subject property's three buildings at $18,472,400 for the 2006 tax year. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 923, 1146-58.) The Assessor also presented a computer printout indicating that Gateway Arthur purchased the subject property in 2007 for $21,000,000. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 924-25.) The Assessor claimed that his Income Analysis, along with the subject property's 2007 purchase price, supported his assessment because the valuations were within range of one another. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 1153-54.)

         In response, Gateway Arthur claimed that the Assessor's Income Analysis should be afforded no weight because it did not accurately account for property taxes or expenses. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 1226-31, 1235-36, 1250-55.) Gateway Arthur also claimed that the Assessor's computer printout contained several flaws and was not a reliable indicator of the subject property's value for the 2006 tax year. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 1181-94, 1201-02.)

         On October 22, 2012, the Indiana Board issued a final determination in which it determined that the Assessor had failed to make a prima facie case because his evidentiary presentation lacked probative value. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 375-77 ¶ ¶ 44-52.) As a result, the Indiana Board reinstated the subject property's 2005 settlement value of $10,504,100 for the 2006 tax year. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 377 ¶ 52.)

         On December 6, 2012, the Assessor initiated this original tax appeal. The Court heard oral argument on November 22, 2013. Additional facts will be supplied as necessary.

         STANDARD ...


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