Jasper County was improperly denied the ability to establish a cumulative building fund and tax levy to enlarge and remodel a hospital, the Indiana Tax Court ruled.
“This case concerns the Department of Local Government Finance’s (DLGF) determination that Indiana Code § 16-22-5-4 provides for the establishment of only one cumulative building fund and levy during the life of a county hospital,” Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth wrote. “The Court finds it does not.”
Jasper County Commissioners sought to levy a tax of up to 0.7 cents per $100 of assessed value for up to three years, but the DLGF refused. The DLGF interpreted a phrase in the statute, “for not more than twelve (12) years,” to means that a county may only establish one cumulative building fund and levy for up to 12 years, not that it may establish a new fund and levy every 12 years.
“None of the DLGF’s reasons persuade the Court that Indiana Code § 16-22-5-4 provides for a single fund and levy during the service life of a county hospital,” Wentworth wrote in Board of Commissioners of the County of Jasper, Indiana v. Micah G. Vincent, Commissioner, Indiana Department of Local Government Finance, 49T10-1011-TA-59.
The decision was “arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law. Consequently, the Court reverses the DLGF’s final determination and remands this matter for action consistent with this opinion.”