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Court upholds property tax assessments of Kokomo Mall

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The Indiana Tax Court Wednesday affirmed the decision by the state Board of Tax Review to reduce Kokomo Mall LLC’s commercial property assessments for the 2007-2009 tax years.

Three parcels are at issue in Howard County Assessor v. Kokomo Mall, LLC, 49T10-1109-TA-56. Parcel 20, which contains the mall and a movie theatre, was assessed at nearly $7 million in 2007, all three parcels at more than $8.23 million in 2008, and all three parcels at more than $7.4 million in 2009.

Kokomo Mall appealed and presented an appraisal completed in conformance with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice valuing Parcel 20 at $4.96 million in 2007, and all three parcels at $6.08 million in 2008 and $3.99 million in 2009. The assessor claimed the mall’s evidence was riddled with errors and unreliable. She claimed the appraisal failed to comply with USPAP because it lacked transparency and did not use sufficiently reliable data in estimating the subject property’s value.

In 2011, the Indiana Board of Tax Review found, despite certain errors, that the mall’s evidence was probative as to the property’s market value-in-use and, therefore, it had presented a prima facie case that its assessments were incorrect.

The board found Parcel 20 should be assessed at a little more than $6.2 million for 2007, all three parcels at $6.08 million for 2008 and at $3.99 for 2009.

The assessor appealed, arguing that the finding the mall made a prima facie case must be reversed. The Tax Court heard arguments in April 2012.

The assessor claimed that the board did not adequately scrutinize Kokomo Mall’s unreliable evidence, but simply deferred to the appraiser’s testimony and adopted her appraisal even though it did not comply with USPAP. But Senior Judge Thomas Fisher pointed out the assessor has done nothing more than invite the court to ignore the established rule that it may not reweigh evidence nor judge the credibility of the witnesses who testified before the board.

The assessor also wants the court to reconsider the policy arising from caselaw that the mere presentation of a USPAP appraisal establishes a prima facie case.

“Even assuming arguendo that such a policy exists, the administrative record in this case reveals that the Indiana Board’s ability to independently gauge the qualitative value of the evidence and select the evidence that best reflects a property’s market value-in-use was not impeded,” Fisher wrote. “Furthermore, the Court finds that the decision to hire an appraiser or submit a USPAP compliant appraisal is more likely a litigation strategy, not the latent result of a purportedly inequitable policy.”
 
 

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  1. It appears the police and prosecutors are allowed to change the rules halfway through the game to suit themselves. I am surprised that the congress has not yet eliminated the right to a trial in cases involving any type of forensic evidence. That would suit their foolish law and order police state views. I say we eliminate the statute of limitations for crimes committed by members of congress and other government employees. Of course they would never do that. They are all corrupt cowards!!!

  2. Poor Judge Brown probably thought that by slavishly serving the godz of the age her violations of 18th century concepts like due process and the rule of law would be overlooked. Mayhaps she was merely a Judge ahead of her time?

  3. in a lawyer discipline case Judge Brown, now removed, was presiding over a hearing about a lawyer accused of the supposedly heinous ethical violation of saying the words "Illegal immigrant." (IN re Barker) http://www.in.gov/judiciary/files/order-discipline-2013-55S00-1008-DI-429.pdf .... I wonder if when we compare the egregious violations of due process by Judge Brown, to her chiding of another lawyer for politically incorrectness, if there are any conclusions to be drawn about what kind of person, what kind of judge, what kind of apparatchik, is busy implementing the agenda of political correctness and making off-limits legit advocacy about an adverse party in a suit whose illegal alien status is relevant? I am just asking the question, the reader can make own conclsuion. Oh wait-- did I use the wrong adjective-- let me rephrase that, um undocumented alien?

  4. of course the bigger questions of whether or not the people want to pay for ANY bussing is off limits, due to the Supreme Court protecting the people from DEMOCRACY. Several decades hence from desegregation and bussing plans and we STILL need to be taking all this taxpayer money to combat mostly-imagined "discrimination" in the most obviously failed social program of the postwar period.

  5. You can put your photos anywhere you like... When someone steals it they know it doesn't belong to them. And, a man getting a divorce is automatically not a nice guy...? That's ridiculous. Since when is need of money a conflict of interest? That would mean that no one should have a job unless they are already financially solvent without a job... A photographer is also under no obligation to use a watermark (again, people know when a photo doesn't belong to them) or provide contact information. Hey, he didn't make it easy for me to pay him so I'll just take it! Well heck, might as well walk out of the grocery store with a cart full of food because the lines are too long and you don't find that convenient. "Only in Indiana." Oh, now you're passing judgement on an entire state... What state do you live in? I need to characterize everyone in your state as ignorant and opinionated. And the final bit of ignorance; assuming a photo anyone would want is lucky and then how much does your camera have to cost to make it a good photo, in your obviously relevant opinion?

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