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Repeal of administrative code abolishes 3-year limit for filing petitions

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In a ruling that it conceded could “open the floodgates,” the Indiana Tax Court found neither state statute nor regulations provided any time limits for homeowners to file petitions to correct error on their property tax assessments.

The Tax Court reviewed the Petition to Correct Error Statute contained in Indiana Code 6-1.1-15-12 and discovered provisions that gave taxpayers three years to claim a refund had been removed.

In Joseph and Jeanne Hutcherson v. Robin L. Ward, Hamilton County Assessor, 49T10-1302-TA-10, the Tax Court denied the assessor’s motion to dismiss and urged the state to include time limitations in the petition statute.

The Hutchersons filed four petitions to correct error for the 2004 through 2007 tax years after they learned they had not been given their homestead deduction. Both the Hamilton County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and the Indiana Board of Tax Review denied the petitions because the documents were filed after the three-year limit.

On appeals before the Tax Court, the county assessor argued the Hutchersons failed to timely file their petitions under the Petition to Correct Error Statute and the Refund Statute, Indiana Code 6-1.1-26.1.

The Tax Court found that when 50 Indiana Administrative Code 4.2-3.12, which promulgated a regulation interpreting the petition statute, was repealed, the time limitation was deleted. And none of the new regulations adopted in 2000 or 2009 included a specific time period for filing a petition to correct error.

Although the Refund Statute does impose a three-year limitation period for filing a claim for a refund, the Tax Court declined to stretch that provision into the petition statute.
 
“The Court is well aware that this decision has the potential to open the floodgates for petition to correct error appeals by finding, as it must, that no statutory or regulatory time limitation exists after April 1, 2000,” Judge Martha Blood Wentworth wrote. “Moreover, the Court strongly supports the important public policy favoring limitations of claims. … The Court ardently urges the Legislature or the Department of Local Government Finance to act with all haste to provide security against stale claims arising under Indiana Code 6-1.1-15-12.”

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  1. Excellent initiative on the part of the AG. Thankfully someone takes action against predators taking advantage of people who have already been through the wringer. Well done!

  2. Conour will never turn these funds over to his defrauded clients. He tearfully told the court, and his daughters dutifully pledged in interviews, that his first priority is to repay every dime of the money he stole from his clients. Judge Young bought it, much to the chagrin of Conour’s victims. Why would Conour need the $2,262 anyway? Taxpayers are now supporting him, paying for his housing, utilities, food, healthcare, and clothing. If Conour puts the money anywhere but in the restitution fund, he’s proved, once again, what a con artist he continues to be and that he has never had any intention of repaying his clients. Judge Young will be proven wrong... again; Conour has no remorse and the Judge is one of the many conned.

  3. Pass Legislation to require guilty defendants to pay for the costs of lab work, etc as part of court costs...

  4. The fee increase would be livable except for the 11% increase in spending at the Disciplinary Commission. The Commission should be focused on true public harm rather than going on witch hunts against lawyers who dare to criticize judges.

  5. Marijuana is safer than alcohol. AT the time the 1937 Marijuana Tax Act was enacted all major pharmaceutical companies in the US sold marijuana products. 11 Presidents of the US have smoked marijuana. Smoking it does not increase the likelihood that you will get lung cancer. There are numerous reports of canabis oil killing many kinds of incurable cancer. (See Rick Simpson's Oil on the internet or facebook).

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