Board did not abuse discretion in finding assessor’s appraisal more persuasive

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Noting that determining the assessed value of a property is not an exact science, the Indiana Tax Court rejected a property owner’s assertion that the county assessor’s appraisal was improperly given greater weight.  

In Millennium Real Estate Investment, LLC v Assessor, Benton County, Indiana, 49T10-1008-TA-42, the Tax Court affirmed the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s final determination in upholding the real property assessments of Millennium Real Estate Investment, LLC.   

For the 2008 tax year, the Benton County assessor assigned property owned by Millennium Real Estate Investment, LLC a total assessed value of $639,800. Millennium believed the assessments were too high and sought review first with the Benton County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and then the IBTR.

At the IBTR hearing, Millennium offered its appraisal estimated the value of the property at $325,000 as of March 1, 2008, and stated that the property was sold in December 2003 for $182,000. Also, the petitioner presented an Asset Purchase Agreement showing that it purchased its property for $193,817 on June 30, 2008.

The assessor presented an appraisal which valued the property at $640,000 as of Jan. 10, 2007.

After the IBTR upheld the assessment in July 2010, Millennium appealed on two grounds. First, Millennium claims the IBTR ignored its December 2003 sales evidence and improperly discounted its June 2008 sales evidence. Second, Millennium claims the IBTR erred in assigning greater weight to the assessor’s appraisal.

On the first claim, the Tax Court found that Millennium did not show that the IBTR erred with respect to the December 2003 sales evidence claim. Also Millennium’s June 2008 sales evidence does not probatively demonstrate that its 2008 assessments were incorrect.

On the second claim, the court ruled that the IBTR did not abuse its discretion in finding the assessor’s appraisal more persuasive than Millennium’s appraisal despite their differences.

Specifically, the court rejected the argument that the assessor’s appraisal utilized an improper assessment standard in estimating the value of Millennium property. The court also found Millennium’s argument unpersuasive that the IBTR should have determined that its appraisal better reflected the value of its property.



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