866 P.2d 169 (Ariz.Tax 1993), TX 93-00466, Frenkel v. Maricopa County

Docket Nº:TX 93-00466.
Citation:866 P.2d 169, 177 Ariz. 187
Party Name:Thomas C. FRENKEL v. MARICOPA COUNTY; Arizona Department of Revenue.
Case Date:December 15, 1993
Court:Tax Court of Arizona
 
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Page 169

866 P.2d 169 (Ariz.Tax 1993)

177 Ariz. 187

Thomas C. FRENKEL

v.

MARICOPA COUNTY; Arizona Department of Revenue.

No. TX 93-00466.

Tax Court of Arizona.

December 15, 1993

Page 170

[177 Ariz. 188] C. Richard Potts, Phoenix, for plaintiff.

Jerry A. Fries, Gail Boyd, Atty. Gen., Phoenix, for defendant.

OPINION

SCHAFER, Judge.

The issue to be resolved is whether a motion for partial summary judgment is an appropriate procedure to use is determining which defendant, Maricopa County or the Arizona Department of Revenue, is responsible for defending an appeal to this Court.

This is a property tax appeal brought pursuant to A.R.S. § 42-177, subsection A. In accordance with section 42-177(C) both the Arizona Department of Revenue (the Department) and Maricopa County (the County) are named as defendants in the action. The County has filed a motion for partial summary judgment seeking, in effect, approval of using the summary judgment procedure to implement 1993 revisions to section 42-177 which allow the Department to be relieved of defending certain types of tax appeals. No opposition to the motion was filed.

ANALYSIS

Subsection C of section 42-177 designates which defendant, the Department or the County, is responsible for defending an appeal brought under section 42-177. Generally, subsection C requires the Department and the attorney general's office to defend the appeal only if the Department is the one valuing the property at issue. Otherwise, the county which values and assesses the subject property is required to defend the appeal. A.R.S. § 42-177(C).

There are two instances where the Department may voluntarily relieve the county of its duty to defend and assume responsibility for defense of the appeal. This may happen when:

  1. In the opinion of the department, the appeal involves an issue of statewide importance, in which case the department and the attorney general's office shall be responsible for the defending the appeal.

  2. The department disapproves a change in valuation or assessment submitted by the county pursuant to § 42-148 and the county does not appeal or is unsuccessful in its appeal of the disapproval, in which case the department and the attorney general's office shall be responsible for defending the appeal.

A.R.S. § 42-177(C)(1), (2). Neither instance exists here.

The Department has not...

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