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Man entitled to homestead deduction on Fountain County property

December 11, 2013

The Indiana Tax Court Tuesday reversed the determination that a man could not receive the homestead standard deduction on his Fountain County property because the decision is unsupported by evidence. The Indiana Board of Tax Review’s conclusion that the property was not Roderick Kellam’s principal place of residence was contrary to law.  

Kellam, pro se, appealed the final determination by the tax board denying the homestead standard deduction on the Fountain County property for the 2010 tax year. He bought the home with Carol Myers; he owned another property in Wells County and she owned one in Grant County.

Kellam received the deduction on the Fountain County property in 2010, but the following year the Fountain County treasurer issued a new tax statement that did not include the deduction. The change was based on the fact Kellam was not living there while he fixed up the property and that he had a homestead deduction on the Wells County property for 2010. He had that one removed and paid the taxes he would have owed on the Wells County home, but the deduction for the Fountain County property was still denied.

Kellam presented evidence that he paid the amount of property tax on the Wells County home for 2010 that he would have owed if not for the homestead deduction. The record also shows that Kellam used the Fountain County property as his mailing address and that address is on his driver’s license, bank statements and tax returns.

In Roderick E. Kellam v. Fountain County Assessor, 49T10-1211-TA-78, Wentworth found the tax board’s final determination denying the deduction on the Fountain County property to be unsupported by substantial or reliable evidence.

The case is remanded for further action.
 

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