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Tax Court affirms 2006 assessment appealed pro se

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Although sympathetic to a mother and daughter’s plight, the Indiana Tax Court affirmed the 2006 assessment of a downtown Indianapolis condominium. The judge pointed out that pro se litigants are held to the same standards as licensed attorneys.

Jaklin Idris and Dariana Kamenova owned the 2,135 square-foot condo unit in a building with two bars on the first three floors and residential condos on the second three floors. The condo was assessed at $395,900 for the 2006 tax year.

Idris appealed, and Kamenova argued before the Indiana Board of Tax Review in 2011 that the assessment should be $270,000 based on excessive noise, foul odors and persistence crime. She also claimed their unit was over-assessed and presented the Marion County Tax Reports and real estate listings for those units.  The board declined to reduce the assessment.

On appeal in Jaklin Idris and Dariana Kamenova v. Marion County Assessor, 49T10-1108-TA-49, Idris claimed that the board abused its discretion in finding that Kamenova failed to establish that their property was entitled to an obsolescence adjustment and in determining that the assessments of the three other units in their building failed to show that their property was over-assessed. Idris also argued that the board erred in upholding their assessment given the assessor’s improper use of the “one unit multiple units” classification.

Senior Judge Thomas Fisher noted that the record in the case shows that Kamenova did not offer any quantification or any other evidence to substantiate her claim that certain factors had diminished the value of her property by $125,900. And her evidence regarding the other units in the building did not establish that her assessment should be reduced because Kamenova did not provide any meaningful analysis as to the comparability of those properties nor did she attempt to explain how her unit was the same or different from those units.

Fisher found the plaintiffs waived the “one unit multiple units” classification argument because there is no evidence on the record that the assessor used such a classification and this argument was not presented to the Indiana Board of Tax Review.

“Kamenova’s and Idris’s presentations to both the Indiana Board and the Court reflect some of the challenges taxpayers have in understanding the complexities of our property tax system. While the Court is sympathetic to their plight, it is bound to apply the laws as written because pro se litigants are held to the same rules and standards as licensed attorneys,” Fisher wrote in upholding the assessment.
 

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  1. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  2. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  3. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  4. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

  5. During a visit where an informant with police wears audio and video, does the video necessary have to show hand to hand transaction of money and narcotics?

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