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Non-sufficient proof of obsolescence in tax assessment. (Case in Brief).

Photographs of buildings and a taxpayer's conclusory statements did not establish sufficient proof of obsolescence in a tax assessment case, according to the Tax Court of Indiana.

Davidson Industries, Inc., owns property located in Johnson County, Indiana. In February 1996, Davidson filed a petition with the State Board of Tax Commissioners seeking a review of the March 1995 assessment of its improvements. Davidson claimed, among other things, that the 25% functional and economic obsolescence should be applied to its buildings. At the hearing Davidson argued that the property at issue had no room for growth, did not have sufficient storage, lacked an emphasis on recovery and safety that is present in the current codes (most of the buildings were constructed in 1961), and that the economic and social conditions indicated a need for more depreciation than was applied. Davidson also submitted photographs of its facility and provided what it asserted were comparable properties in the assessment review and analysis that it prepared. The State Board concluded that the base prices previously calculated were correct and denied any obsolescence depreciation. Davidson appealed.

The Tax Court said that Davidson failed to meet its burden of establishing a prima facie case of obsolescence. "Conclusory statements," the court said, "do not constitute probative evidence." Furthermore, the court said that it had previously rejected attempts by taxpayers to put forth evidence such as photo graphs without explanations. Also, the court said that Davidson did not even designate what kind of obsolescence its evidence allegedly demonstrated. The court affirmed the final determination of the State Board.

Davidson Industries v. Bd. of Tax Com'rs.
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Title Annotation:Davidson Industries Inc. v. Indiana State Board of Tax Commissioners
Publication:Appraisal Journal
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U3IN
Date:Jan 1, 2002
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