48 P.3d 1271 (Idaho 2002), 26036, Riverside Development Co. v. Vandenberg

Docket Nº:26036.
Citation:48 P.3d 1271, 137 Idaho 382
Opinion Judge:WALTERS, Justice.
Party Name:RIVERSIDE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, an Idaho corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Marvin VANDENBERG; Kootenai County Assessor; Dick Compton, Richard C. Panabaker, and Ronald D. Rankin, Kootenai County Commissioners; and State Tax Commission--State of Idaho, Defendants-Respondents.
Attorney:Craig R. Wise, Coeur d'Alene, for argued for appellant., Hon. Alan G. Lance, Attorney General; Carl E. Olsson, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, argued for respondent Tax Commission. [137 Idaho 383] Craig R. Wise, Coeur d'Alene, for argued for appellant. Hon. Alan G. Lance, Attorney General; Car...
Judge Panel:Dennis L Molenaar, Coeur d Alene, appeared for respondents Vandenberg & County
Case Date:June 06, 2002
Court:Supreme Court of Idaho
 
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Page 1271

48 P.3d 1271 (Idaho 2002)

137 Idaho 382

RIVERSIDE DEVELOPMENT COMPANY, an Idaho corporation, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

Marvin VANDENBERG; Kootenai County Assessor; Dick Compton, Richard C. Panabaker, and Ronald D. Rankin, Kootenai County Commissioners; and State Tax Commission--State of Idaho, Defendants-Respondents.

No. 26036.

Supreme Court of Idaho, Boise.

June 6, 2002.

Page 1272

[137 Idaho 383] Craig R. Wise, Coeur d'Alene, for argued for appellant.

Hon. Alan G. Lance, Attorney General; Carl E. Olsson, Deputy Attorney General, Boise, argued for respondent Tax Commission.

Dennis L. Molenaar, Coeur d Alene, appeared for respondents Vandenberg & County Commissioners.

WALTERS, Justice.

This is an appeal from the tax assessments on subdivision lots owned by Riverside Development Company ("RDC") for the years 1996, 1997 and 1998. RDC appeals the Kootenai County Assessor's valuation, arguing that the Assessor should have valued the lots utilizing the wholesale value of the aggregate of the unsold lots. RDC also challenges the Assessor's valuation on the ground that the Assessor failed to consider the actual and functional use of the property. The Board of Equalization, Tax Board and district court upheld the Assessor's valuation. We affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

In 1991, Riverside Development Company ("RDC") purchased a parcel adjacent to the Spokane River in Post Falls, Idaho, with the plan of developing the land into 463 lots. As of January 1, for each of the assessment years in question, RDC owned 62 lots in 1996, 56 lots in 1997, and 53 lots in 1998. Each lot is unimproved but has been developed with streets, sidewalks and utilities. Each lot has been assigned a lot, block and subdivision description.

In each of the years from 1996 to 1998, RDC filed an appeal with the Board of Equalization ("BOE") contesting the Kootenai County tax assessments on the unsold lots held by RDC. RDC asserts that the Assessor overvalued certain lots for ad valorem tax purposes. The Assessor established the ad valorem tax assessment for each of the unsold lots by utilizing the lot's retail value. For each tax year in question, the BOE affirmed the Assessor's valuation. For the year 1996, RDC appealed the BOE's decision to the Board of Tax Appeals ("BTA"), who affirmed the decisions of the BOE and the Assessor. The 1996 BTA decision was then appealed to the district court. For the years 1997 and 1998, RDC appealed the BOE's decisions to the district court pursuant to I.C. § 63-511.

On its appeal with the district court, RDC argued that the unsold lots should be valued aggregately using a wholesale valuation rather than individual retail valuation used by the Assessor. Following a court trial, the district court issued its Memorandum Opinion, Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law and Order upholding the Assessor's valuations for the tax years 1996, 1997 and 1998.

ISSUE PRESENTED ON APPEAL

Did the district court err by concluding that the...

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