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Deceased appraiser's report used as evidence. (Cases in Brief).

The Supreme Court of Minnesota ruled that the tax court could admit into evidence a deceased appraiser's report as part of the report prepared by the property owner's appraiser.

Terry Lewis purchased a 4.2-acre lot along Lake Minnetonka, in Hennepin County, Minnesota. The seller had purchased the lot for $1.9 million, but encumbered it with a conservation easement before selling it to Lewis. In 1993 and 1994, Lewis constructed a 30,000 square foot home on the lot for approximately $4 million. The property had 76 feet of lake frontage. The home had eight bedrooms, two kitchens, seven fireplaces, an elevator, a movie theater, a recording studio, a grillroom, and a swimming pool with spa and sauna. The county assessor placed an estimated market value on the property of $4.22 million for 1996, and $4.35 million for 1997. Lewis challenged the assessment. The tax court reduced the estimated market value to $3.277 million for 1996, and $3.244 million for 1997. The county appealed.

On appeal, the county argued that the tax court erred in admitting the appraisal report of a deceased appraiser appended to the report of Lewis' appraiser. "An expert may base his or her opinion on facts or data that the expert perceived or that were made known to the expert at or before the hearing," the court said. Because the deceased appraiser's report was offered for a purpose consistent with the above rule, the court concluded that the tax court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the report into evidence as part of Lewis' appraiser's report. The court affirmed the decision of the tax court.
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Publication:Appraisal Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U4MN
Date:Jan 1, 2002
Words:275
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