A Deluge Of Dismissals: Indiana Tax Court Dismisses 11 Property Tax Exemption Appeals For Insufficient Jurisdiction
Taxpayers’ 11 appeals were ignored once they unsuccessful to exhaust administrative remedies.
If this rains, it flows. On The month of january 20, the Indiana Tax Court issued eleven rulings dismissing property tax exemption appeals for insufficient jurisdiction.
Exempt today, gone tomorrow. The appeals involved exactly the same fundamental details. Taxpayers owned multi-family cooperative apartment complexes, which offered low-earnings persons. In 2005, they filed property tax exemption applications, claiming the complexes and private property were owned, occupied and employed for charitable purposes. The Marion County Board (the home Tax Assessment Board of Appeals or “PTABOA”) granted the exemptions. (Two appeals involved the 2008 tax year, and something involved an incomplete exemption.) Carrying out a 2009 Tax Court ruling within an exemption appeal, the PTABOA reviewed and revoked this years exemptions for Taxpayers’ property.
Moving forward up. Taxpayers attracted the Indiana Board of Tax Review (the “IBTR”), asserting the PTABOA lacked statutory authority to revoke the exemptions. Furthermore, Taxpayers contended that whether or not the PTABOA could revoke the exemptions, its actions were untimely. The IBTR denied Taxpayers’ summary judgment motions on both of these issues. The IBTR rejected Taxpayers’ petitions for rehearing (treated as motions to reconsider). Taxpayers filed petitions within the Tax Court, that the Assessor searched for to dismiss.
Tired, although not exhausted. The Tax Court has jurisdiction over original tax appeals. To become an authentic tax appeal, a situation must arise under Indiana’s tax laws and regulations and become “an initial benefit of your final determination” from the IBTR. Slip op. at 4 (citing Ind. Code § 33-26-3-1). During these eleven appeals, the 2nd component is at dispute, i.e. if the IBTR had issued final determinations. Neglecting to exhaust administrative remedies, the Tax Court noted, “generally deprives a legal court of subject material jurisdiction.” Slip op. at 5 (citation overlooked). However, failure to exhaust administrative remedies isn’t fatal “when remarkable conditions establish that doing this could be futile, would cause irreparable harm, or in which the relevant statute is purported to be void on its face.” Id. And also the exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement might not be appropriate if “an agency’s action is challenged to be ultra vires and void.” Id. (citation overlooked).
During these appeals, the IBTR’s orders didn’t finish the executive process. Slip op. at 6-7. A Legal Court described that the substantive issue continued to be: if the complexes and private property were owned, occupied and employed for charitable purposes throughout the relevant time. Consequently, Taxpayers had appealed interlocutory orders, not final determinations. Slip op. at 7.
Finally, while Taxpayers claimed the PTABOA choose to go “rogue” in reviewing this years exemptions (by acting past the scope of their authority), a legal court figured that requiring Taxpayers to exhaust their remedies “may avoid premature litigation by supplying an chance for that situation to become resolved on grounds apart from individuals presently prior to the Court.” Slip op. at 8-9. Additionally, it conserves the Court’s sources by permitting the IBTR to build up an sufficient record for judicial review around the substantive issue. Slip op. at 9.
The instances were remanded towards the IBTR.
Among the Court’s eleven decisions, Three Fountains Cooperative, Corporation. v. Marion County Assessor, can be seen here. (Citations within this publish will be to this ruling.) You’ll find all the decisions by going to the site for Indiana’s appellate decisions.