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Tax Court affirms assessments of Shelbyville CVS store

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The assessment of a Shelbyville CVS store is lower than the county wanted, higher than the drugstore chain wanted, but just right, the Indiana Tax Court concluded.

The court issued an opinion affirming the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s determination upholding the assessment of the property at $2.375 million in 2007 and about $2.46 million for 2008.

After those assessments were made on the store built in 2001 and operated under a sale-leaseback agreement, CVS appealed first to the Shelby County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and then to the Indiana Board of Tax Review, both of which affirmed the county’s original assessment.

CVS argued in those earlier appeals that based on the value of vacant former drugstore properties where market rent is about $10 per square foot, its Shelbyville store should be assessed at only about $1.25 million for the property tax years in question. But the Tax Review Board noted CVS failed to investigate and understand why those properties were vacant, which “destroyed” the credibility of its preferred method of assessment.

The Shelby County assessor then pursued its own alternate approach in its appeal to the Tax Court, Shelby County Assessor v. CVS Pharmacy, Inc. #6637-02, 49T10-1112-TA-96. The assessor argued that based on the sale-leaseback’s contractual rent of $27.20 per square foot, the property should have been assessed at about $3.77 million.

“In its final determination, the Indiana Board explained that CVS provided probative evidence demonstrating that there was a significant difference between the subject property’s market rent and contractual rent,” Senior Judge Thomas Fisher wrote.

“The Indiana Board noted that this difference was consistent with CVS’s claim that it used sale-leaseback transactions to sell more than just the ownership rights in its properties; rather, it used those types of transactions as a means to generate additional business capital from investors,” Fisher wrote. “The Indiana Board found that the Assessor’s … approach likely was capturing more than the value of the real property (i.e., the “sticks and bricks”) in her computation.”

Fisher concluded in affirming the review board that the assessor essentially asked the Tax Court to reweigh the evidence, which it may not do.

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  1. What a fine article, thank you! I can testify firsthand and by detailed legal reports (at end of this note) as to the dire consequences of rejecting this truth from the fine article above: "The inclusion and expansion of this right [to jury] in Indiana’s Constitution is a clear reflection of our state’s intention to emphasize the importance of every Hoosier’s right to make their case in front of a jury of their peers." Over $20? Every Hoosier? Well then how about when your very vocation is on the line? How about instead of a jury of peers, one faces a bevy of political appointees, mini-czars, who care less about due process of the law than the real czars did? Instead of trial by jury, trial by ideological ordeal run by Orwellian agents? Well that is built into more than a few administrative law committees of the Ind S.Ct., and it is now being weaponized, as is revealed in articles posted at this ezine, to root out post moderns heresies like refusal to stand and pledge allegiance to all things politically correct. My career was burned at the stake for not so saluting, but I think I was just one of the early logs. Due, at least in part, to the removal of the jury from bar admission and bar discipline cases, many more fires will soon be lit. Perhaps one awaits you, dear heretic? Oh, at that Ind. article 12 plank about a remedy at law for every damage done ... ah, well, the founders evidently meant only for those damages done not by the government itself, rabid statists that they were. (Yes, that was sarcasm.) My written reports available here: Denied petition for cert (this time around): http://tinyurl.com/zdmawmw Denied petition for cert (from the 2009 denial and five year banishment): http://tinyurl.com/zcypybh Related, not written by me: Amicus brief: http://tinyurl.com/hvh7qgp

  2. Justice has finally been served. So glad that Dr. Ley can finally sleep peacefully at night knowing the truth has finally come to the surface.

  3. While this right is guaranteed by our Constitution, it has in recent years been hampered by insurance companies, i.e.; the practice of the plaintiff's own insurance company intervening in an action and filing a lien against any proceeds paid to their insured. In essence, causing an additional financial hurdle for a plaintiff to overcome at trial in terms of overall award. In a very real sense an injured party in exercise of their right to trial by jury may be the only party in a cause that would end up with zero compensation.

  4. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  5. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

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