APPEAL FROM A FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE INDIANA BOARD OF TAX
ATTORNEY FOR PETITIONER: PAUL M. JONES, JR. PAUL JONES LAW,
LLC Greenwood, IN
ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: CURTIS T. HILL, JR. ATTORNEY
GENERAL OF INDIANA KELLY S. EARLS ZACHARY D. PRICE WINSTON
LIN ALEKSANDRINA P. PRATT DEPUTY ATTORNEYS GENERAL
25, 2018, the Indiana Board of Tax Review issued a final
determination valuing a CVS store in Elkhart, Indiana for
purposes of the 2012 through 2015 assessments. CVS has
challenged that final determination, but the Court affirms.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
property at issue in this case is the CVS store located at
104 West Hively Avenue in Elkhart, Indiana. (See
Cert. Admin. R. at 1, 63.) The store, constructed in 2004, is
approximately 10, 880 square feet and sits on 1.26 acres of
land. (Cert. Admin. R. at 75.)
Elkhart County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals
("PTABOA") valued the subject property for the 2012
through 2015 assessments as follows: $1, 030, 600; $1, 090,
700; $1, 118, 200; and $1, 106, 200. (See Cert.
Admin. R. at 1-2, 10-11, 28-29.) Believing those values to be
too high, CVS timely filed appeals with the Indiana Board.
The Indiana Board conducted one administrative hearing on all
of CVS's appeals in May of 2017.
the hearing, certified appraisers for both CVS and the
Assessor presented Appraisal Reports in conformance with the
Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice
("USPAP") that valued the subject property for each
of the assessment years. (See Cert. Admin. R. at
63-206, 255-531.) CVS's appraiser, Sara Coers, employed
all three approaches to value the property (i.e.,
the sales comparison, income, and cost approaches),
reconciling her results into a final value of $800, 000 for
2012; $840, 000 for 2013; $850, 000 for 2014; and $890, 000
for 2015. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 64, 198-99,
1132-33.) In arriving at these final values, Coers gave the
most weight to her sales comparison and income approaches.
(See Cert. Admin. R. at 75-77, 199, 1132-33.)
Assessor's appraiser, J. David Hall, also employed all
three approaches, reconciling his results into a final value
of $1, 790, 000 for 2012; $1, 800, 000 for 2013; $1, 810, 000
for 2014; and $1, 820, 000 for 2015. (See Cert.
Admin. R. at 257, 440, 1438-39.) In arriving at his final
values, Hall gave equal weight to each of the three
approaches. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 440, 1439.)
25, 2018, the Indiana Board issued its final determination in
the matter. In its final determination, the Indiana Board
found that the sales comparison and income approaches
presented in both Appraisal Reports contained so many flaws
that they were unpersuasive, if not completely unreliable.
(See, e.g., Cert. Admin. R. at 1012 ¶ 96.) The
Indiana Board then examined the cost approaches provided in
each Appraisal Report, and after finding both probative, it
ultimately found Coers's approach more persuasive than
Hall's. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 988 ¶¶
18-19, 995-96 ¶¶ 39-42, 1001 ¶ 56, 1002-03
¶ 62, 1007-08 ¶¶ 75-79, 1010 ¶¶
86-87, 1012 ¶ 97.) Nonetheless, the Indiana Board found
the portion of her cost approach that accounted for the
presence of external obsolescence "entirely
unsupported." (Compare Cert. Admin. R. at
131-40, 766-67, 773 (indicating why Coers believed the
subject property suffered from external obsolescence and how
she quantified it) with Cert. Admin. R. at 996
¶ 42 n.6, 1007 ¶ 78, 1012 ¶ 98 (indicating why
the Indiana Board did not find her rationale persuasive).)
Consequently, the Indiana Board modified Coers's cost
approach by removing the negative adjustment she made to
account for the presence of external obsolescence and
assigned the following values to the subject property: $1,
222, 805 for 2012; $1, 226, 743 for 2013; $1, 246, 096 for
2014; and $1, 211, 040 for 2015. (Cert. Admin. R. at 1012
¶ 98 n.10.)
initiated an original tax appeal on July 6, 2018. The Court
heard the parties' oral arguments on May 23, 2019.
Additional facts will be supplied as necessary.
party seeking to overturn an Indiana Board final
determination bears the burden of demonstrating its
invalidity. Osolo Twp. Assessor v. Elkhart Maple
LaneAssocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax Ct.
2003). Accordingly, CVS must demonstrate to the Court that
the Indiana Board's final determination in this matter is
arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise
not in accordance with law; contrary to constitutional right,
power, privilege, or immunity; in excess of or short of
statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations; ...