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An appraisal or other relevant data may be used to rebut or support accuracy of property assessment.

Kokomo Mall, LLC (Kokomo Mall) owns commercial property in Howard County, Indiana. The property known as the Kokomo Mall consists of three different parcels of land: Parcel 17, Parcel 20, and Parcel 22. The Howard County Assessor (Assessor) assessed the property as follows: Parcel 20 at $6,979,700 for 2007, all three parcels at $8,230,200 for 2008, and all three parcels at $7,419,500 for 2009. Kokomo Mall believed the assessments were too high and appealed to the Howard County Property Tax Assessment Board and then to the Indiana Board of Tax Review (Board).

At the Board hearing, Kokomo Mall presented an appraisal that was completed under the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). The appraisal valued Parcel 20 at $4,960,000 for 2007, all three parcels at $6,080,000 for 2008, and all three parcels at $3,990,000 for 2009. Kokomo Mall's appraiser testified how she reached these values and why she took the approach she did. The Assessor argued that Kokomo Mall's appraisal, and the corroborating testimony, lacked probative value because it contained errors, but the Assessor did nothing to impeach or rebut Kokomo Mall's evidence. The Board's final determination found that despite certain errors, Kokomo Mall's evidence was probative and that it presented a prima facie case that the 2007, 2008, and 2009 assessments were incorrect. The Board found Parcel 20 should be assessed at $6,212,100 for 2007, all three parcels should be assed at $6,080,000 for 2008 and all three parcels should be assessed at $3,990,000 for 2009. The Assessor appealed.

On appeal, the Assessor asked the Tax Court of Indiana to reconsider a policy arising from case law that the mere presentation of a USPAP appraisal establishes a prima facie case. The court assumed for the sake of argument that such a policy existed but found that the record in the case revealed the Board's ability to independently evaluate the evidence presented was not impeded. The court noted the Board had declined to adopt a valuation Kokomo Mall presented in its appraisal evidence because it failed to show that its method of reaching that value was correct. The tax court further stated that market data, assessment data, or any other data compiled in accordance with generally accepted appraisal principles may be used to impeach the accuracy of an appraisal or lend support to the accuracy of an assessment. Accordingly, the tax court affirmed the Board's final determination.

Howard County Assessor v. Kokomo Mall, LLC

Tax Court of Indiana

August 6, 2014

14 N.E.3d 895

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Title Annotation:Recent Court Decisions
Publication:Appraisal Journal
Geographic Code:1U3IN
Date:Jan 1, 2015
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