Tax Court affirms assessments in exclusive addition

September 9, 2015

Arguments that land assessments in one of Allen County’s most exclusive residential additions should have been about one-third of the final valuation failed to persuade the Indiana Tax Court.

The court affirmed assessments in two cases – Carol Cooper v. Allen County Assessor, 02T10-1405-TA-22, and Gregory and Carmen Cooper v. Allen County Assessor, 02T10-1405-TA-19. Gregory Cooper is a Barnes & Thornburgh LLP attorney who represented himself before the Tax Court as well as the appeal brought by his mother, Carol Cooper.

Both cases involved property assessments on properties of about 7.8 acres in the Shadow Creek subdivision in Huntertown. Carol Cooper challenged the $173,400 land assessment for the 2012 tax year and Gregory and Carmen Cooper contested the valuation of $172,500. Those properties had been assessed at about $62,000 in the 2011 tax year.

The assessor, however, presented evidence that neighboring properties had sold for $22,000 to $24,500 per acre in 2012, and other properties in the addition were being marketed at about $25,000 per acre.

After conducting oral arguments in these cases at Indiana Tech Law School, Tax Court Judge Martha Blood Wentworth ruled in favor of the Indiana Board of Tax Review, which had upheld the 2012 assessments.

Given the evidentiary presentations, the court “cannot say that the Indiana Board’s final determination is against the logic and effect of the facts and circumstances that were before it,” Wentworth concluded in both cases.




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