The Indiana Tax Court has again dismissed an appeal filed by downtown Indianapolis JW Marriott owner Convention Headquarters Hotels LLC regarding its real property assessment, after the judge similarly ruled the appeal as premature.
Judge Martha Blood Wentworth’s first dismissal came in January after she determined the court had no subject matter jurisdiction over CHH’s appeal of its 2010 real property assessment in an eight-year-old case.
That, she ruled, was because the appeal was filed too soon pursuant to Indiana Code §§ 6-1.1-15-4(i)(2) and 6-1.1-15-5(g). Likewise, “the maximum time for the Indiana Board to give notice of its final determination had not elapsed when CHH sought judicial review[.]”
Wentworth therefore remanded the matter to the Indiana Board of Tax Review, explaining that “once the maximum time for the Indiana Board to give notice of its final determination lapses (i.e., 366 days after CHH filed its Form 131 petition), CHH may once again seek direct review in the Tax Court.”
The company filed its second appeal on March 1, claiming among other things, that the assessment violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution and the Property Taxation and Equal Privileges and Immunities Clauses of the Indiana Constitution.
But in Convention Headquarters Hotels, LLC v. Marion County Assessor, 19T-TA-6, Wentworth on Wednesday again found the appeal premature.
“… CHH asserts that the ‘maximum time elapsed’ under Indiana Code § 6-1.1-15-5(g) on February 28, 2019, which it determined by substituting its own method of calculation for that held by the Tax Court in Convention Headquarters I regarding these very facts and circumstances,” Wentworth wrote.
“CHH neither requested a rehearing with the Tax Court nor filed a petition for review with the Indiana Supreme Court to challenge the maximum time elapsed holding in Convention Headquarters I,” she continued. “Thus, while CHH’s new arguments and authorities could have been considered had they been raised during the pendency of Convention Headquarters I, the Court will not consider them now.”
Additionally, the tax court noted that the maximum time for the Indiana Board to give notice of its final determination was March 3, rather than the February 28 date “derived from CHH’s new math.”
As a result, Wentworth wrote, CHH “ignored” the holding in Convention Headquarters I, 119 N.E.3d 245 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2019). She dismissed CHH’s second appeal and remanded the matter to the Indiana Board of Tax Revenue for action consistent with the opinion.