Tax court rules that evidence, not conclusory statements, needed to make prima facie case

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A doubled property value will stand because the property owner did not offer any market-based evidence when challenging the new assessed value, the Indiana Tax Court has ruled.

In Kooshtard Property VIII, LLC v. Shelby County Assessor, 49T10-1011-TA-58, the Indiana Tax Court affirmed the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s finding that Kooshtard did not make a prima facie case that its land was overassessed.

Kooshtard owned two acres in Shelbyville which were home to a convenience store and gas station. During the 2006 and 2007 tax years, the Shelby County assessing officials applied a multiplier of 100 percent that increased the property’s value from a base rate of $200,000 per acre to $400,000 per acre.

During the IBTR hearing, Kooshtard argued uniformity requires that the 100 percent multiplier be applied to all similar land. Consequently, the property owner contended, the application of the 100 percent multiplier was erroneous because the adjacent properties did not have that multiplier applied.

However, the IBTR rejected that argument as insufficient to raise a prima facie case.

The Tax Court agreed, finding Kooshtard did not present any market-based evidence to support its claim. Instead it offered only conclusory statements and previously rejected arguments, asserting that since the assessor did not apply the same multiplier to a nearby office building, automotive sales/service center and a fast-food restaurant, the multiplier should be removed from the assessment.

Conclusory statements are insufficient to make a prima facie case because they are not probative evidence, the court noted.  



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