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Court affirms Steuben County couple’s 2006 real property assessment

May 29, 2014

A Steuben County couple could not convince the Indiana Tax Court to find that the $292,800 land assessment of their residential property in 2006 was too high.

David and Karen McKeeman appealed their 2006 real property assessment, which the Indiana Board of Tax Review upheld. In 2011, the McKeeman’s brought their original tax appeal before the Indiana Tax Court.

The McKeemans argued that the board erred in disregarding their claim concerning the establishment of their neighborhood; that it erred in rejecting their base rate claim; and it erred in concluding that their sales comparison analysis lacked probative value.

The McKeemans suggest that Indiana’s assessment guidelines provide that neighborhoods must contain the same type of properties, which was not the case in their neighborhood assessment. But the assessment guidelines clearly indicate that a neighborhood may contain properties that vary with respect to road access, size, and use type. Thus, those types of differences simply are not per se indicators of an improperly constituted neighborhood, Senior Tax Judge Thomas Fisher wrote Wednesday in David A. McKeeman, Sr., and Karen A. McKeeman v. Steuben County Assessor, 02T10-1104-TA-31.

The McKeemans did not show that the board erred in upholding the $5,900 base rate applied to their land. The administrative record reveals that the assessor introduced the McKeemans’ neighborhood valuation form and their property record cards, which demonstrated that the McKeemans’ land was assessed consistent with the established base rate of $5,900 per front foot.

Finally, the the McKeemans did not show that the board erred in concluding that their sales comparison analysis lacked probative value. The McKeemans’ valuation of 10 comparable properties failed to demonstrate that their assessment was too high and the board’s final determination explained why certain comps lacked probative value.
 

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