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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. As one of the many consumers affected by this breach, I found my bank data had been lifted and used to buy over $200 of various merchandise in New York. I did a pretty good job of tracing the purchases to stores around a college campus just from the info on my bank statement. Hm. Mr. Hill, I would like my $200 back! It doesn't belong to the state, in my opinion. Give it back to the consumers affected. I had to freeze my credit and take out data protection, order a new debit card and wait until it arrived. I deserve something for my trouble!

  2. Don't we have bigger issues to concern ourselves with?

  3. Anyone who takes the time to study disciplinary and bar admission cases in Indiana ... much of which is, as a matter of course and by intent, off the record, would have a very difficult time drawing lines that did not take into account things which are not supposed to matter, such as affiliations, associations, associates and the like. Justice Hoosier style is a far departure than what issues in most other parts of North America. (More like Central America, in fact.) See, e.g., http://www.theindianalawyer.com/indiana-attorney-illegally-practicing-in-florida-suspended-for-18-months/PARAMS/article/42200 When while the Indiana court system end the cruel practice of killing prophets of due process and those advocating for blind justice?

  4. Wouldn't this call for an investigation of Government corruption? Chief Justice Loretta Rush, wrote that the case warranted the high court’s review because the method the Indiana Court of Appeals used to reach its decision was “a significant departure from the law.” Specifically, David wrote that the appellate panel ruled after reweighing of the evidence, which is NOT permissible at the appellate level. **But yet, they look the other way while an innocent child was taken by a loving mother who did nothing wrong"

  5. Different rules for different folks....

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