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Court dismisses 11 property tax exemption appeals for lack of jurisdiction

January 21, 2015

Indiana Tax Judge Martha Wentworth dismissed the challenges brought by 11 cooperatives regarding the Indiana Board of Tax Review’s denial of their appeals after their property tax exemptions were revoked. The judge found the court lacks subject matter jurisdiction to hear the cases.

The petitioners in these cases are multi-unit, multi-family cooperative apartment complexes that were granted property tax exemptions on their apartment complexes and personal property because they were owned, occupied and exclusively used for the charitable purpose of providing affordable housing to low-income people.

But after the Tax Court issued Jamestown Homes of Mishawaka, Inc. v. St. Joseph Cnty. Assessor, 909 N.E.2d 1138, 1144 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2009), in which it held that the provision of affordable housing to low-income persons was not a per se charitable purpose, the Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals began to question some previous prior exemptions. It eventually revoked the exemptions of the 11 petitioners regarding certain tax years, leading to their appeals.

The Indiana Board of Tax Review denied the petitioners’ motions for summary judgment on their assertions the PTABOA’s revocation of the exemptions were improper because it lacked statutory authority and was untimely.

The 11 cooperatives then appealed to the Tax Court, which granted the Marion County assessor’s motions to dismiss in each of the cases, citing a lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

Wentworth found in each of the cases that the petitioners were appealing from an interlocutory order issued by the Indiana Board of Tax Review and not a final determination. There are still outstanding issues in each of the cases that the board needs to resolve.

She also rejected claims of the petitioners that they do not need to obtain a final determination from the board given “extraordinary circumstances” in their cases.

She remanded the 11 cases to the Indiana Board of Tax Review for action consistent with each opinion.

The cases are:
Three Fountains Cooperative, Inc. v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-44;

Yorktown Homes South, Inc. v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-38;

Three Fountains West, Inc.v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-42;

Mayfield Green Cooperative, Inc. v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-41;

Lakeview Terrace Cooperative, Inc. v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-40;

Grandville Cooperative, Inc., v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-35;

Riley-Roberts Park, LPa v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-37;

Harvard Square Cooperative, Inc. v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-36;

Retreat Cooperative, Inc. v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-45;

Southwood Cooperative, Inc.v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-43;

Troy Manor Cooperative, Inc. v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Marion County Assessor
49T10-1406-TA-39.


 

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