Tax Court upholds $592,000 assessment on lakehouse

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The Indiana Tax Court affirmed an appraisal of $592,000 for a woman’s property, holding the owner appealing the judgment failed to relate her evidence for a lower appraisal to a Jan. 1, 2008, valuation date.

Kathryn Gillette owns rental property on Sweetwater Lake in Nineveh. In 2009, the property was assessed at $636,500. Gillette appealed and the Indiana Board of Tax Review lowered the assessment to $592,000, reinstating the 2008 assessment. However, Gillette claimed the 2008 assessment was still too high because her property was only worth $440,000 in 2009. The tax board denied this claim, saying she did not produce probative evidence to support it. Gillette appealed.

Gillette claimed the tax board should have used the income approach rather than the cost approach in figuring out the property’s worth because this was a rental property. However Judge Martha Blood Wentworth wrote in her decision that this argument attacks “merely the methodology used to determine the 2008 assessed value and does not address the key issue — whether $592,000 was a reasonable reflection of the property’s market value-in-use.”

Gillette also claimed the tax board’s determination improperly rejected her entire evidentiary presentation. She included rental insurance police declarations from 2005-2012, a 1998 appraisal and a 2006 appraisal that established the value of her rental property as $440,000 for the 2009 tax year.

Wentworth wrote that this evidence is not probative because Gillette was required to relate her evidence to the Jan. 1, 2008, valuation date and she did not do so.

The case is Kathryn Gillette v. Brown County Assessor, 49T10-1305-TA-00053.  

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