Tax Court affirms dismissal of common-property assessment appeals

September 4, 2015

A homebuilder that challenged assessment of common area parcels of land within several residential neighborhoods in Hendricks County lost its appeal at the Indiana Tax Court Friday. The rejection also affirms dismissal of 26 other suits arising in Decatur, Hamilton, Hendricks and Marion counties that raised the same issue and were consolidated in the case.

Pulte Homes claimed assessments of the common parcels was illegal as a matter of law or were erroneously calculated. Pulte ran out of administrative appeals when its claims were dismissed by the Indiana Department of Revenue.

Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth wrote that the Indiana Board of Tax Review had authority to dismiss the claim; an evidentiary hearing was not required; the appeal of common-area assessments is not subject to correction using the Form 133 appeal procedure; and the assessor did not bear the burden to prove the assessments were correct.

"Consequently, the Tax Court affirms the Indiana Board’s final determination dismissing Pulte’s case and the final determinations dismissing the twenty-six consolidated cases," Wentworth wrote.

The case, Pulte Homes of Indiana, LLC v. Hendricks County Assessor 49T10-1302-TA-11, covered the property tax years of 2003-2005 for Pulte, but the court lists in a footnote the 26 other cases to which the ruling applies, many of them dealing with later tax years.



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