Tax Court reverses educational property tax exemption

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The Indiana Tax Court has reversed an educational property tax exemption for a Carmel day care after finding that the land’s owner failed to properly compare the total time the property was used for educational purposes against the total time the day care utilized the land.

In Hamilton County Assessor v. Charles E. Duke, 49T10-1309-TA-69, Charles Duke incorporated the Little Lamb Daycare, Inc. as a for-profit corporation and opened the day care on his property in Carmel. The daycare used a Bible-based curriculum that instructed children up to 6 years old in various educational subjects, though its lessons were not governed by a specific church or denomination. 

In the 2009, 2010 and 2011 tax years, Duke filed three property tax exemption applications, claiming that because Little Lamb used 84 percent of the property for educational and religious purposes, that portion of his property was entitled to exemption under Indiana Code 6-1.1-10-16 and 6-1.1-10-36.3 After the Hamilton County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals denied his request, Duke appealed to the Indiana Board of Tax Review, which denied his partial religious exemption but granted his partial education exemption.

The Hamilton County assessor appealed, arguing that the board erred in granting 84 percent of the property an educational exemption because Duke failed to identify the time spent on specific exempt activities and compare that to the total amount of time the property was used. Duke, however, contended that the board erred in denying his partial religious exemption.

The evidence in the case shows that Little Lamb used the property for both educational and non-educational purposes, Indiana Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth wrote in a Friday opinion. However, Duke failed to identify how the day care’s activities furthered educational purposes, and also did not compare the amounts of time the property was used for education against the total time it was in use, she wrote. Without that comparison, Wentworth said the board’s determination in Duke’s favor on the issue of the partial education exemption was contrary to law.

Similarly, Wentworth wrote that Duke failed to explain how the day care’s activities furthered religious purposes and also did not provide a comparison of the time spent of religious activities versus the total time the daycare was in use on Duke’s property. Thus, the board was correct to deny Duke’s partial religious exemption, the judge said.


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  1. Employers should not have racially discriminating mind set. It has huge impact on the society what the big players do or don't do in the industry. Background check is conducted just to verify whether information provided by the prospective employee is correct or not. It doesn't have any direct combination with the rejection of the employees. If there is rejection, there should be something effective and full-proof things on the table that may keep the company or the people associated with it in jeopardy.

  2. Unlike the federal judge who refused to protect me, the Virginia State Bar gave me a hearing. After the hearing, the Virginia State Bar refused to discipline me. VSB said that attacking me with the court ADA coordinator had, " all the grace and charm of a drive-by shooting." One does wonder why the VSB was able to have a hearing and come to that conclusion, but the federal judge in Indiana slammed the door of the courthouse in my face.

  3. I agree. My husband has almost the exact same situation. Age states and all.

  4. Thanks Jim. We surprised ourselves with the first album, so we did a second one. We are releasing it 6/30/17 at the HiFi. The reviews so far are amazing! Skope Mag: It’s Just Craig offers a warm intimacy with the tender folk of “Dark Corners”. Rather lovely in execution, It’s Just Craig opts for a full, rich sound. Quite ornate instrumentally, the songs unfurl with such grace and style. Everything about the album feels real and fully lived. By far the highlight of the album are the soft smooth reassuring vocals whose highly articulate lyrics have a dreamy quality to them. Stories emerge out of these small snapshots of reflective moments.... A wide variety of styles are utilized, with folk anchoring it but allowing for chamber pop, soundtrack work, and found electronics filtering their way into the mix. Without a word, It’s Just Craig sets the tone of the album with the warble of “Intro”. From there things get truly started with the hush of “Go”. Building up into a great structure, “Go” has a kindness to it. Organs glisten in the distance on the fragile textures of “Alone” whose light melody adds to the song’s gorgeousness. A wonderful bloom of color defines the spaciousness of “Captain”. Infectious grooves take hold on the otherworldly origins of “Goodnight” with precise drum work giving the song a jazzy feeling. Hazy to its very core is the tragedy of “Leaving Now”. By far the highlight of the album comes with the closing impassioned “Thirty-Nine” where many layers of sound work together possessing a poetic quality.

  5. Andrew, if what you report is true, then it certainly is newsworthy. If what you report is false, then it certainly is newsworthy. Any journalists reading along??? And that same Coordinator blew me up real good as well, even destroying evidence to get the ordered wetwork done. There is a story here, if any have the moxie to go for it. Search ADA here for just some of my experiences with the court's junk yard dog. Yep, drive by shootings. The lawyers of the Old Dominion got that right. Career executions lacking any real semblance of due process. It is the ISC way ... under the bad shepard's leadership ... and a compliant, silent, boot-licking fifth estate.