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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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  1. Frankly, it is tragic that you are even considering going to an expensive, unaccredited "law school." It is extremely difficult to get a job with a degree from a real school. If you are going to make the investment of time, money, and tears into law school, it should not be to a place that won't actually enable you to practice law when you graduate.

  2. As a lawyer who grew up in Fort Wayne (but went to a real law school), it is not that hard to find a mentor in the legal community without your school's assistance. One does not need to pay tens of thousands of dollars to go to an unaccredited legal diploma mill to get a mentor. Having a mentor means precisely nothing if you cannot get a job upon graduation, and considering that the legal job market is utterly terrible, these students from Indiana Tech are going to be adrift after graduation.

  3. 700,000 to 800,000 Americans are arrested for marijuana possession each year in the US. Do we need a new justice center if we decriminalize marijuana by having the City Council enact a $100 fine for marijuana possession and have the money go towards road repair?

  4. I am sorry to hear this.

  5. I tried a case in Judge Barker's court many years ago and I recall it vividly as a highlight of my career. I don't get in federal court very often but found myself back there again last Summer. We had both aged a bit but I must say she was just as I had remembered her. Authoritative, organized and yes, human ...with a good sense of humor. I also appreciated that even though we were dealing with difficult criminal cases, she treated my clients with dignity and understanding. My clients certainly respected her. Thanks for this nice article. Congratulations to Judge Barker for reaching another milestone in a remarkable career.

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