Judge upholds 2009 tax year exemption

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Tax Court rejected the Hamilton County assessor’s claim that a for-profit limited liability company created to purchase office space for its nonprofit tissue donation company should not qualify for a charitable purposes exemption for the 2009 tax year.

New Life Generation Inc. was created in May 2008 as a nonprofit to procure tissue donations, perform donation recoveries, and provide related donor services. After New Life had trouble renting suitable space, its owners formed SPD, a LLC, to purchase an office building. It leased a portion of the building to New Life for a 10-year period. New Life paid rent in the amount of SPD’s mortgage, as well as all real and personal property taxes and other expenses.

SPD requested a charitable purposes exemption for the 2009 tax year, which the Hamilton County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals denied. SPD appealed, and the Indiana Board of Tax Review granted the exemption.

In Hamilton County Assessor v. SPD Realty, LLC, 49T10-1104-TA-28, the assessor contended that the board’s final determination is contrary to law and unsupported by substantial evidence because New Life did not occupy and use the property for a charitable purpose;  SPD did not own the property for a charitable purpose; and the property was not  predominately used for charitable purposes. In its final determination, the IBTR explained that it found that New Life occupied and used the property for a charitable purpose because the parties did not appear to dispute the issue.

There is substantial evidence to support the board’s finding that New Life occupied and used the property for a charitable purpose, Judge Martha Wentworth wrote, because the assessor did not challenge SPD’s claims regarding New Life’s charitable purpose or present evidence to the contrary. Instead, the assessor focused primarily on whether SPD had a charitable purpose.

The IBTR also determined that the totality of the evidence demonstrated that SPD owned the property for a charitable purpose. The totality of the evidence indicates that the arrangement between SPD and New Life was not a typical landlord-tenant relationship and that SPD did not have a profit motive, Wentworth wrote. The evidence of the close relationship between these two entities does support the finding that each has a similar charitable purpose. Wentworth declined to reweigh the evidence in the assessor’s favor.

Wentworth also rejected the assessor’s claim that the board incorrectly determined that SPD’s property was predominately used for charitable purposes. The language of I.C. 6-1.1-10-36.3(a) “clearly requires that a property be used or occupied for charitable purposes for more than 50% of the time that it is actually used or occupied during the tax year at issue. Here, the evidence shows that in the four months the property was used and occupied, it was used 100% of the time for the charitable purpose of operating a tissue bank,” she wrote.


Post a comment to this story

We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Freedom From Religion Foundation: If you really want to be free from religion, don't go to the Christmas Play or the Christmas Pageant or the Christmas Parade. Anything with "Christ" or Saint...fill in the blank...would be off limits to you. Then leave the rest of us ALONE!

  2. So the prosecutor made an error and the defendants get a full remedy. Just one short paragraph to undo the harm of the erroneous prosecution. Wow. Just wow.

  3. Wake up!!!! Lawyers are useless!! it makes no difference in any way to speak about what is important!! Just dont tell your plans to the "SELFRIGHTEOUS ARROGANT JERKS!! WHO THINK THEY ARE BETTER THAN ANOTHER MAN/WOMAN!!!!!!

  4. Looks like you dont understand Democracy, Civilized Society does not cut a thiefs hands off, becouse now he cant steal or write or feed himself or learn !!! You deserve to be over punished, Many men are mistreated hurt in many ways before a breaking point happens! grow up !!!

  5. It was all that kept us from tyranny. So sad that so few among the elite cared enough to guard the sacred trust. Nobody has a more sacred obligation to obey the law than those who make the law. Sophocles No man is above the law and no man is below it; nor do we ask any man's permission when we ask him to obey it. Obedience to the law is demanded as a right; not asked as a favor. Theodore Roosevelt That was the ideal ... here is the Hoosier reality: The King can do no wrong. Legal maxim From the Latin 'Rex non potest peccare'. When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal. Richard Nixon