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Tax Court: tax rate recalculation incorrect

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The Indiana Tax Court ruled that a government agency incorrectly calculated a Marion County school district’s capital project fund levy property tax rate for 2011, and it has ordered the Department of Local Government Finance to recalculate the tax rates going back to 2007.

In Metropolitan School District of Pike Township v. Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, No. 49T10-1103-TA-21, the Pike Township school district appealed the DLGF’s final determination recalculating the school district’s capital projects fund levy property tax rate for 2011. The DLGF notified the school district that it was reducing the estimated tax rate pursuant to the formula provided in Indiana Code 6-1.1-18-12. The school district challenged the rate reduction, but the DLGF issued a final determination certifying its previous order as final.

But Tax Judge Martha J. Wentworth reversed, finding the DLGF did not properly follow the law when it performed the steps outlined in I.C. 6-1.1-18-12. Based on DeKalb County. E. Cmty. Sch. Dist. v. Dep’t of Local Gov’t Fin., 930 N.E.2d 1257, 1260-61 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2010), the DLGF should use a zero value in steps two and four of the formula when there is no increase in a school district’s assessed value from one year to the next, and it should also use a zero value in those steps when a school district’s assessed value actually decreases.

The DLGF applied DeKalb in its 2011 CPF levy property tax rate adjustment by using zeros in steps two and four of the statutory formula, but the school district contended that the DLGF should have gone back and recalculated the rates for 2007-2010 because CPF levy property tax rate calculations are affected by previous years’ rate calculations. Judge Wentworth agreed, rejecting the DLGF’s argument that it would be improper to recalculate the previous rates and that the Tax Court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to order the DLGF to provide the retroactive recalculations.

"The School District does not ask the DLGF to recalculate the CPF levy property tax rate for years 2007 through 2010 using zero values instead of negative values in steps two and four to recover ‘lost’ funds from each of those years,” she wrote. “Rather, the School District simply seeks to correct those erroneous calculations for the sole purpose of ensuring the accuracy of its 2011 CPF levy property tax rate calculation, which is the subject of the final determination at issue, so that it may levy and collect the funds to which it is statutorily entitled.”

She remanded to the DLGF with instructions to recalculate the tax rates for 2007-2010 using zero values instead of negative values in steps two and four of the statutory formula.

 

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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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