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Homeowners association loses appeal of assessments

June 19, 2015

Finding that an Indianapolis homeowners association did not make any cognizable claims using the Form 133 appeal procedure to appeal assessments on its common area land, the Indiana Tax Court affirmed the dismissal of its petitions to correct error.

Muir Woods challenged the assessments by the Marion County assessor on its common land for the 2004 and 2005 tax years. The Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals denied the Forms 133 filed with it, which led to Muir Woods filing Forms 131 with the Indiana Tax Board of Review and submitting the Forms 133 it sent to the PTABOA. After holding a hearing, the board of review dismissed the case finding the alleged errors are not correctable using Forms 133.

Errors susceptible to correction by Forms 133 are objective, not subjective, in nature. The board found the allegations raised by Muir Woods were subjective.

In Muir Woods, Inc. v. Joseph P. O'Connor, Assessor of Marion County, 49T10-1302-TA-38, Muir Woods asserted that the Form 133 appeal procedure was proper because: The Indiana Supreme Court has previously held that a challenge to the legality of an assessment methodology may be raised using the Form 133 appeal procedure; the correction Muir Woods requests can be determined based solely on objective facts; the assessor has assessed the value of all homeowners’ associations’ common areas at zero since 2006; property taxes were charged more than once on the same property; and the assessor failed to adjust the base rate.

Judge Martha Wentworth rejected all of Muir Woods arguments, finding it was incorrect in some of its statements, it did not raise a claim during the administrative process or failed to raise a cognizable claim.

By court order, Wentworth consolidated the following cases which raised identical claims:
Sylvan Ridge Lakes Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Joseph P. O’Connor, Assessor of Marion County, 49T10-1302-TA-39; Oakmont Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Joseph P. O’Connor, Assessor of Marion County, 49T10-1302-TA-40; Spruce Knoll Homeowners Association, Inc. v. Joseph P. O’Connor, Assessor of Marion County, 49T10-1302-TA-41; and Muir Woods Section One Association, Inc. v. Joseph P. O’Connor, Assessor of Marion County, 49T10-1302-TA-42.

 

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