Marinov v. Tippecanoe County Assessor, 022019 INTAX, 17T-TA-00023

Docket Nº:17T-TA-00023
Opinion Judge:WENTWORTH, JUDGE.
Party Name:VASSIL MARINOV & VENETKA MARINOVA, Petitioners, v. TIPPECANOE COUNTY ASSESSOR, Respondent.
Attorney:PETITIONERS APPEARING PRO SE: VASSIL MARINOV VENETKA MARINOVA West Lafayette, IN. ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: CURTIS T. HILL, JR. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIANA, ALEKSANDRINA P. PRATT ZACHARY D. PRICE DEPUTY ATTORNEYS GENERAL Indianapolis, IN.
Case Date:February 20, 2019
Court:Tax Court of Indiana
 
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VASSIL MARINOV & VENETKA MARINOVA, Petitioners,

v.

TIPPECANOE COUNTY ASSESSOR, Respondent.

No. 17T-TA-00023

Tax Court of Indiana

February 20, 2019

ON APPEAL FROM A FINAL DETERMINATION OF THE INDIANA BOARD OF TAX REVIEW

PETITIONERS APPEARING PRO SE: VASSIL MARINOV VENETKA MARINOVA West Lafayette, IN.

ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT: CURTIS T. HILL, JR. ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIANA, ALEKSANDRINA P. PRATT ZACHARY D. PRICE DEPUTY ATTORNEYS GENERAL Indianapolis, IN.

WENTWORTH, JUDGE.

Vassil Marinov and Venetka Marinova (Marinovs) challenge the final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review that established the assessed value of their real property for the 2014 tax year. Upon review, the Court affirms the Indiana Board's final determination.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

The Marinovs own a 3, 090 square foot, single-family home situated on a 0.3064 acre lot in the Wake Robin subdivision in West Lafayette. (Cert. Admin. R. at 190-91.) When the Marinovs purchased the subject property in 2004, its assessed value was $205, 200, with $36, 900 allocated to the land and $168, 300 to the improvements. (Cert. Admin. R. at 66, 191-92.)

In 2006, the property's assessed value increased to $216, 200, which the Marinovs appealed requesting that it be reduced to $172, 000. (Cert. Admin. R. at 192.) Although the Tippecanoe County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA) and the Indiana Board ultimately denied the 2006 appeal, the Assessor reduced the property's assessed value to $173, 200 for the 2007 tax year based on an appraisal the Marinovs presented during the 2006 appeal process. (Cert. Admin. R. at 192, 194.) To achieve that value, the Assessor applied a 24% obsolescence adjustment to the property.1 (See Cert. Admin. R. at 194-95, 278-79.)

During tax years 2008-2013, the property's assessed value ranged from $169, 600 in 2008 to $149, 000 in 2013. (Cert. Admin. R. at 194.) In 2014, the Assessor removed the obsolescence factor and assigned a $187, 700 assessed value, resulting in an assessed value 26% higher than that in 2013. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 196.) Believing the 2014 assessed value to be too high, the Marinovs appealed first to the PTABOA and thereafter to the Indiana Board.

On August 9, 2017, the Indiana Board conducted a hearing on the Marinovs' appeal. The Indiana Board explained that because the property's assessed value increased by more than 5%, the Assessor bore the burden of proof in the administrative process.2 (See Cert. Admin. R. at 120 ¶ 21, 180-81.) To meet his burden of proof, the Assessor presented an estimate of value using the sales comparison approach3 and a time trend analysis to show that the original 2014 assessed value actually undervalued the property. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 71-83, 183-86, 245-46.)

The Assessor's sales comparison approach compiled sales information from seven, two-story houses within a 1400-foot radius of the subject property that sold between January 1, 2013 and December 31, 2013. (Cert. Admin. R. at 71-72, 197-98.) To account for differences between the subject property and the comparable properties, the Assessor developed a linear regression model based on 101 property sales in the Wake Robin subdivision from 2009-2016.4 (See Cert. Admin. R. at 73-82, 203-12.) Applying that analysis, the Assessor determined that the time of sale, age, grade, living area, and garage size were the most relevant factors affecting the subject property's value and then adjusted the seven comparable properties according to the differences in those characteristics. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 73-82, 206-15.) As a result, the Assessor's sales comparison approach estimated an assessed value of $237, 400. (See...

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