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Mobile home park's occupancy rate not enough to reduce property assessment

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A low occupancy rate alone did not provide the owner of a mobile home community with the evidence it needed to get its property assessment reduced.  

The Indiana Tax Court affirmed the final determination by the Indiana Board of Tax Review in Indiana MHC, LLC v. Scott County Assessor, 39T10-1009-TZ-52. The high court ruled because Indiana MHC’s income capitalization approach lacked probative value, the Indiana Board of Tax Review was correct in determining that the property owner failed to prove its 2007 real property assessment was incorrect.

Indiana MHC, owner of Amberly Pointe, a manufactured home community, was successful in getting the Scott County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals to lower the original assessment of $5.4 million. However, believing the reduced assessment of $3.38 million was still too high, the property owner appealed to the Indiana board.

At an administrative hearing, Indiana MHC asserted that because only 85 pads of Amberly Pointe’s 205 pads were rented and generating income between 2005 and 2008, only the rented pads had value for purpose of the 2007 assessment. In addition, the property owner also claimed that about 2.6 acres of the community’s 33 acres had no value because the land, as green space, could not generate any income.

Using the income capitalization approach, Indiana MHC contended its property had a value of $1,075,692.  

The Indiana board concluded that because the property owner’s income capitalization approach failed to take into account any market data whatsoever, it lacked probative value.

In affirming the board’s determination, the Tax Court explained the requirements for applying the income capitalization approach. Namely, the property owner must not only examine the historical and current income, expenses, and occupancy rates for the subject property but the income, expenses and occupancy rates of comparable properties in the market as well.

The court found that Indiana MHC failed to comply with generally accepted appraisal principle because it did not consider the occupancy rates of comparable properties in the market. In fact, the evidence indicates that Amberly Pointe’s low occupancy rate of 40 percent was actually the anomaly in the market place.

Consequently, the Tax Court ruled that based on Indiana MHC’s failure to examine, analyze and reconcile its low occupancy rate in light of the much higher occupancy rates prevalent in the market place, the Indiana board did not err in finding that the property owner’s income capitalization approach lacked probative value.

 


 

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  1. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  2. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  3. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

  4. I am the mother of the child in this case. My silence on the matter was due to the fact that I filed, both in Illinois and Indiana, child support cases. I even filed supporting documentation with the Indiana family law court. Not sure whether this information was provided to the court of appeals or not. Wish the case was done before moving to Indiana, because no matter what, there is NO WAY the state of Illinois would have allowed an appeal on a child support case!

  5. "No one is safe when the Legislature is in session."

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