Millard Lumber, Inc. v. Douglas County Board of Equalization, 082719 NECA, A-18-1091

Docket Nº:A-18-1091
Opinion Judge:RIEDMANN, JUDGE.
Party Name:Millard Lumber, Inc., appellant, v. Douglas County Board of Equalization, appellee.
Attorney:Jordan W. Adam, Fraser Stryker, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant. Jennifer C. Clark, Deputy Douglas County Attorney, for appellee.
Judge Panel:Riedmann, Bishop, and Arterburn, Judges.
Case Date:August 27, 2019
Court:Court of Appeals of Nebraska
 
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Millard Lumber, Inc., appellant,

v.

Douglas County Board of Equalization, appellee.

No. A-18-1091

Court of Appeals of Nebraska

August 27, 2019

THIS OPINION IS NOT DESIGNATED FOR PERMANENT PUBLICATION AND MAY NOT BE CITED EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY NEB. CT. R. APP. P. § 2-102(E).

Appeal from the Tax Equalization and Review Commission.

Jordan W. Adam, Fraser Stryker, P.C., L.L.O., for appellant.

Jennifer C. Clark, Deputy Douglas County Attorney, for appellee.

Riedmann, Bishop, and Arterburn, Judges.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND JUDGMENT ON APPEAL

RIEDMANN, JUDGE.

INTRODUCTION

Millard Lumber, Inc., appeals from an order of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) which affirmed a decision of the Douglas County Board of Equalization (Board) denying Millard Lumber's protest of the 2017 valuation of its property. We conclude that the TERC decision is supported by competent evidence and is neither arbitrary nor capricious. We therefore affirm.

BACKGROUND

Millard Lumber owns a 609, 633-square-foot distribution warehouse located on 1, 440, 093 square feet of land in Douglas County, Nebraska (the Subject Property). The structure was built in 1958 and Millard Lumber purchased the Subject Property in 2006. The Douglas County assessor determined that the value of the Subject Property was $13, 496, 200 for the 2017 tax year. This value consisted of a land valuation of $4, 320, 300 and an improvement value of $9, 175, 900.

Millard Lumber protested the assessment to the Board and requested a valuation of $9, 410, 735. Millard Lumber's requested valuation consisted of a land valuation of $4, 320, 300, and an improvement value of $5, 090, 435. The Board affirmed the original assessment of the Subject Property, and determined that its taxable value was $13, 496, 200. Millard Lumber appealed the Board's decision to TERC.

A hearing was held before TERC in February 2018. At the hearing, Millard Lumber argued that the 2017 tax assessment was not equalized with the property adjacent to it (the Comparable Property). The only evidence presented at the hearing consisted of testimony from Brent Reeder on behalf of Millard Lumber. Reeder testified that he was a general contractor and had done renovation work for Millard Lumber on the Subject Property. Reeder testified that the improvement value on the Subject Property was nearly double that of the Comparable Property, when broken down by square foot, with the value of the improvements on the Subject Property being calculated at $15.05 per square foot, and the value of the improvements on the Comparable Property being calculated at $8.50 per square foot.

Reeder asserted to TERC that the Subject Property and the Comparable Property were very similar. The properties were originally built in the 1950's and were part of the same campus. Although the Comparable Property is larger than the Subject Property, both buildings were used in the same manner. Reeder also informed TERC that both buildings were constructed similarly, they had similar clear heights for docking, heavy industrial floor slabs, similar lighting, similar roofing structure and membrane, gas-fired heat systems and were fire-sprinkler...

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