APPEAL FROM A FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE INDIANA BOARD OF TAX
ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER: BRENT A. AUBERRY BENJAMIN A. BLAIR
FAEGRE BAKER DANIELS LLP Indianapolis, IN
ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: CURTIS T. HILL, JR. ATTORNEY
GENERAL OF INDIANA BENJAMIN J. LEGGE WINSTON LIN ALEKSANDRINA
P. PRATT DEPUTY ATTORNEYS GENERAL Indianapolis, IN
Tube Indiana II, LLC appeals the Indiana Board of Tax
Review's final determination, which upheld the
assessments of its real property for the 2011, 2012, and 2013
tax years. Upon review, the Court reverses the Indiana
Board's final determination.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
the years at issue, Nova Tube owned two parcels of land in
Clark County, Jeffersonville, Indiana. (See Cert.
Admin. R. at 451-59.) Together, the parcels were comprised of
29.1 acres of land with rail spurs that provided access to
the nearby railroad and a 109, 443 square foot industrial
warehouse. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 195, 215, 616-17,
2010, the property was assessed at $2, 245, 900.
(See Cert. Admin. R. at 452, 459.) In 2011, however,
the Clark County Assessor increased the property's
assessment by over 50%, assigning it a total assessed value
of $4, 653, 100. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 452, 459,
522.) Over the next two years, the property's assessments
increased incrementally, with it being assessed at $4, 767,
200 in 2012 and $4, 767, 300 in 2013. (See Cert.
Admin. R. at 522-23.)
October 3, 2013, Nova Tube appealed its assessments for the
years at issue to the Clark County Property Tax Assessment
Board of Appeals (the PTABOA). In May of 2014, while the
appeals were still pending with the PTABOA, Nova Tube sold
the property to the Port of Indiana for $6, 125, 000.
(See Cert. Admin. R. at 650-54.) The PTABOA
subsequently affirmed all three of Nova Tube's
Tube appealed the PTABOA's determinations to the Indiana
Board on July 18, 2014. After conducting a hearing on the
appeals, the Indiana Board issued a final determination in
the matter on June 30, 2017. In that final determination, the
Indiana Board explained that with respect to the 2011 appeal,
the Assessor bore the burden of proving that the assessment
increase was correct under Indiana Code §
6-1.1-15-17.2.(See Cert. Admin. R. at 97-98
¶ 36.) The Indiana Board then determined that the
Assessor met her burden because the evidence that the
property was sold in a "market value" transaction
in May 2014 and that the market was relatively stable during
the years at issue supported her assessment values.
(See Cert. Admin. R. at 97 ¶¶ 34-35,
99-102 ¶¶ 41-46.) Consequently, the burden shifted
to Nova Tube to rebut the Assessor's prima facie
case. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 101-02 ¶ 46.)
rebuttal presentation, Nova Tube asserted that the May 2014
sale was not a market value transaction because the buyer,
the Port of Indiana, was atypically motivated given that it
was a government entity that already owned "the vast
majority of the land in that area[, ]" including land
adjacent to Nova Tube's property. (See Cert.
Admin. R. at 100-01 ¶ 43, 651-57.) Nova Tube also
asserted that the Assessor had admitted that the May 2014
sales price did not actually reflect the property's
market value-in-use because the property record cards stated
that the sale was "invalid." (See, e.g.,
Cert. Admin. R. at 596-601, 656-57.) Finally, Nova Tube
presented an appraisal, completed in conformance with the
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP),
that valued the property at $2, 900, 000 for 2011. (See,
e.g., Cert. Admin. R. at 194-280, 561-62, 644-806.)
Indiana Board weighed the competing evidence and determined
that Nova Tube did not persuasively rebut the Assessor's
prima facie case, explaining that the lack of
support for certain adjustments and valuations in Nova
Tube's 2011 appraisal, particularly the land valuations,
had diminished its probative value. (See Cert.
Admin. R. at 102-03 ¶¶ 47-53.) Consequently, the
Indiana Board upheld the property's 2011 assessment of
$4, 653, 100. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 100-05
¶¶ 43-46, 54-57.)
respect to Nova Tube's 2012 and 2013 appeals, the Indiana
Board did not state which party bore the burden of proof;
rather, it stated that the Assessor had made a prima
facie case for 2012 and 2013 by using the same evidence
offered to support her 2011assessment. (See Cert.
Admin. R. at 101-02 ¶ 46.) The Indiana Board determined
that Nova Tube's 2012 and 2013 appraisals, which valued
the property at $3, 000, 000 for 2012and $3, 100, 000 for
2013, did not persuasively rebut the Assessor's prima
facie case because they suffered from the same
infirmities as its 2011 appraisal. (See Cert. Admin.
R. at 101-04 ¶¶ 46-53, 55.) (See also
Cert. Admin. R. at 836-37, 859-60.) Accordingly, the Indiana
Board also upheld the property's 2012 assessment of $4,
767, 200 as well as its 2013 assessment of $4, 767, 300.
(See Cert. Admin. R. at 104-05 ¶ 57.)
17, 2017, Nova Tube filed a Request for Rehearing.
(See Cert. Admin. R. at 106-17.) On July 31, 2017,
the Indiana Board denied Nova Tube's Request ...