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Man loses 2 appeals before Tax Court

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A Carroll County man who owns agricultural property containing hog buildings couldn’t convince the Indiana Tax Court that the Indiana Board of Tax Review erred when it rejected four self-prepared analyses he offered as to what value his property should be assessed.

In two opinions handed down Tuesday, Vern R. Grabbe, pro se, appealed the 2009 assessment of his two contiguous parcels of land and the decision to apply the 2009 agricultural property assessment to the 2010 tax year.

For 2009, the property was assessed at $274,500. Grabbe thought that assessment was too high so he sought review. Before the Indiana Board of Tax Review, he presented four self-prepared analyses to show that the assessed value should be $218,262 – the allocation approach, the cost approach, the income approach, and the market data approach. The board determined all four approaches lacked probative value because he failed to show that his analyses comported with generally accepted appraisal principles, and it retained the $274,500 assessment value.

In Vern R. Grabbe v. Carroll County Assessor, Neda K. Duff, 49T10-1108-TA-51, Tax Judge Martha Blood Wentworth affirmed, finding the final determination upholding the 2009 assessment is supported by substantial and reliable evidence and is not contrary to law. Grabbe failed to present evidence that would support his assessment under the four approaches.

In Vern R. Grabbe v. Carroll County Assessor, Neda K. Duff, 49T10-1206-TA-35, Wentworth also affirmed the application of the 2009 assessment to the 2010 tax year. Initially, the property was assessed at $306,900 for the 2010 tax year, an 11 percent increase over the previous year’s assessment. Grabbe challenged the values and presented the same four self-prepared analyses to show that the value should be $218,862. The board issued a final determination, valuing the property the same amount as the 2009 assessed value.

Wentworth found that application reasonable given that neither of the parties presented probative evidence as to the subject property’s market value-in-use for the 2010 tax year. As such, the board’s decision is not contrary to law.
 

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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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