“LESS UNTIL PROVEN MORE”

Written By Jeff Jinks

An Indiana statute explains that if there is over a 5% increase in assessment on a property from the previous year, it is the assessor’s responsibility to provide proof for this increase. The Indiana Board of Tax Review threw this statute into play recently when reverting the 2012 assessment back to its 2005 assessment for a shopping center owned by Gateway Arthur. Senior Judge Thomas Fisher established the board was presented with conflicting evidence when interpreting how the property was assessed in 2006 and returned back to the board’s decision.

The board felt the property assessor didn’t provide sufficient verification of facts to argue the increase in property value for 2006. As it turned out, this same statute was in the process of being amended which caused the final assessment to fall back to the year prior to 2006. All in all, this resulted in an almost $7 million dollar tax break for Gateway Arthur.

PRACTICE TIP: When assessing property value, assemble acceptable evidence to justify the assessment.

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