Eckerling v. Wayne Tp. Assessor, No. 49T10-0502-TA-12.

Docket NºNo. 49T10-0502-TA-12.
Citation841 N.E.2d 674
Case DateFebruary 02, 2006
CourtTax Court of Indiana

Page 674

841 N.E.2d 674
Mark & Jon ECKERLING, Petitioners,
v.
WAYNE TOWNSHIP ASSESSOR, Respondent.
No. 49T10-0502-TA-12.
Tax Court of Indiana.
February 2, 2006.

Timothy J. Vrana, Attorney at Law, Columbus, for Petitioners.

Steve Carter, Attorney General of Indiana, Jennifer E. Gauger, Deputy Attorney General, Indianapolis, for Respondent.

FISHER, J.


Mark & Jon Eckerling (the Eckerlings) appeal the final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review (Indiana Board) valuing their real property for the 2002 assessment year. The issue on appeal is whether the Indiana Board erred in upholding the Wayne Township Assessor's (Assessor) assessment under the residential pricing guidelines.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Eckerlings own land and an improvement located at 3830 West Morris Street, Wayne Township, Marion County, Indiana. The improvement was constructed in 1948 as a single-family residence; however, the Eckerlings currently use it as an office for their company, Macling Enterprises, Inc. No interior, exterior, or structural changes were made to the house in order to convert it to office use.

For the March 2002 assessment, the Assessor valued the subject property at $75,800 ($3,400 for the land, $72,400 for the improvement) based on the residential pricing guidelines. The Eckerlings filed an appeal with the Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals

Page 675

(PTABOA), arguing that because the improvement was used as an office, not a residence, it should be assessed according to the General Commercial Residential (GCR) schedule rather than the residential pricing guidelines. The PTABOA affirmed the assessment and the Eckerlings subsequently filed a Petition for Review of Assessment (Form 131) with the Indiana Board. An administrative hearing was held and, on January 20, 2005, the Indiana Board issued its final determination upholding the assessment.

The Eckerlings filed an original tax appeal with this Court on February 9, 2005. The Court heard the parties' oral arguments on November 3, 2005. Additional facts will be supplied as necessary.

ANALYSIS AND OPINION
Standard of Review

This Court gives great deference to final determinations of the Indiana Board. Wittenberg Lutheran Vill. Endowment Corp. v. Lake County Prop. Tax Assessment Bd. of Appeals, 782 N.E.2d 483, 486 (Ind. Tax Ct.2003), review denied. Consequently, the Court will reverse a final determination of the Indiana Board only if it is:

(1) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law;

(2) contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity;

(3) in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations;

(4) without observance of procedure required by law; or

(5) unsupported by substantial or reliable evidence.

IND. CODE ANN. § 33-26-6-6(e)(1)-(5) (West 2006).

The party seeking to overturn the Indiana Board's final determination bears the burden of proving its invalidity. Osolo Twp. v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., L.P., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax Ct.2003). In order to meet that burden, the party seeking reversal must have submitted, during the administrative hearing process, probative evidence regarding the alleged assessment error. Id. (footnote omitted). If that party meets its burden of proof and prima facie establishes that the Indiana Board's final determination is erroneous, the burden then shifts to the opposing party to rebut the challenging party's evidence. See Meridian Towers East & West v. Washington Twp. Assessor, 805 N.E.2d 475, 479 (Ind. Tax Ct.2003).

Discussion

Under Indiana's assessment system, real property is assessed on the basis of its "true tax value." "True tax value" does not mean fair market value, but rather "[t]he market value-in-use of a property for its current use, as reflected by the utility received by the owner or a similar user, from the property." 2002 REAL PROPERTY ASSESSMENT MANUAL (hereinafter, Manual) (incorporated by reference at IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 50, r. 2.3-1-2 (2002 Supp.)) at 2. See also IND. CODE ANN. § 6-1.1-31-6(c) (West 2006). In turn, a property's market value-in-use "may be thought of as the ask price of property by its owner, because this value ... represents the utility obtained from the property, and the ask price represents how much utility must be replaced to induce the owner to abandon the property."1 Manual at 2 (footnote added).

Page 676

Three generally accepted appraisal techniques may be used to calculate a property's market value-in-use. See id. at 3. More specifically:

The first approach, known as the cost approach, estimates the value of the land as if vacant and then adds the depreciated cost new of the improvements to arrive at a total estimate of value. The second approach, known as the sales comparison approach, estimates the total value of the property directly by comparing it to similar, or comparable[ ] properties that have sold in the market. The third approach, known as the income approach, is used for income producing properties that are typically rented. It converts an estimate of income, or rent, the property is expected to produce into value through a mathematical process known as capitalization.

Id. Indiana...

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17 practice notes
  • Wigwam Holdings LLC v. Madison County Assessor, 18T-TA-00015
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • May 8, 2019
    ...2015); French Lick Twp. Tr. Assessor v. Kimball Int'l, Inc., 865 N.E.2d 732, 739 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2007); Eckerling v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 841 N.E.2d 674, 677 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006); Hometowne Assocs., L.P. v. Maley, 839 N.E.2d 269, 277 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2005); Meadowbrook N. Apts. v. Conner, 854 N.E......
  • Wigwam Holdings LLC v. Madison Cnty. Assessor, Cause No. 18T-TA-00015
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • May 8, 2019
    ...2015) ; French Lick Twp. Tr. Assessor v. Kimball Int'l, Inc., 865 N.E.2d 732, 739 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2007) ; Eckerling v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 841 N.E.2d 674, 677 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006) ; Hometowne Assocs., L.P. v. Maley, 839 N.E.2d 269, 277 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2005) ; Meadowbrook N. Apts. v. Conner, 854......
  • Westfield Golf v. Washington Tp. Assessor, No. 49T10-0507-TA-54.
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • January 5, 2007
    ...Indiana's new assessment scheme is to measure a property's value using objectively verifiable data. See Eckerling v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 841 N.E.2d 674, 677-78 (Ind. Tax Ct.2006) (explaining that a taxpayer cannot rebut the presumption that his assessment is correct without presenting evid......
  • Piotrowski BK #5643, LLC v. Shelby Cnty. Assessor, Cause No. 21T-TA-00004
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • September 16, 2021
    ...attack the methodology used to determine its assessment. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 111 ¶ 18(c) (citing Eckerling v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 841 N.E.2d 674 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006) ; P/A Builders & Developers, LLC v. Jennings Cnty. Assessor, 842 N.E.2d 899 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006) ).) Rather, Piotrowski wa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
17 cases
  • Wigwam Holdings LLC v. Madison Cnty. Assessor, Cause No. 18T-TA-00015
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • May 8, 2019
    ...2015) ; French Lick Twp. Tr. Assessor v. Kimball Int'l, Inc., 865 N.E.2d 732, 739 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2007) ; Eckerling v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 841 N.E.2d 674, 677 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006) ; Hometowne Assocs., L.P. v. Maley, 839 N.E.2d 269, 277 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2005) ; Meadowbrook N. Apts. v. Conner, 854......
  • Wigwam Holdings LLC v. Madison County Assessor, 18T-TA-00015
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • May 8, 2019
    ...2015); French Lick Twp. Tr. Assessor v. Kimball Int'l, Inc., 865 N.E.2d 732, 739 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2007); Eckerling v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 841 N.E.2d 674, 677 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006); Hometowne Assocs., L.P. v. Maley, 839 N.E.2d 269, 277 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2005); Meadowbrook N. Apts. v. Conner, 854 N.E......
  • Westfield Golf v. Washington Tp. Assessor, No. 49T10-0507-TA-54.
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • January 5, 2007
    ...Indiana's new assessment scheme is to measure a property's value using objectively verifiable data. See Eckerling v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 841 N.E.2d 674, 677-78 (Ind. Tax Ct.2006) (explaining that a taxpayer cannot rebut the presumption that his assessment is correct without presenting evid......
  • Piotrowski BK #5643, LLC v. Shelby Cnty. Assessor, Cause No. 21T-TA-00004
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • September 16, 2021
    ...attack the methodology used to determine its assessment. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 111 ¶ 18(c) (citing Eckerling v. Wayne Twp. Assessor, 841 N.E.2d 674 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006) ; P/A Builders & Developers, LLC v. Jennings Cnty. Assessor, 842 N.E.2d 899 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2006) ).) Rather, Piotrowski wa......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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