Northbrook Partners L.L.P. v. County of Hennepin, TC-27200

Decision Date16 December 1999
Docket NumberTC-27213,TC-27212,TC-27200
PartiesNORTHBROOK PARTNERS L.L.P., Petitioner, v. COUNTY OF HENNEPIN, Respondent.
CourtTax Court of Minnesota

The Honorable Raymond R. Krause, Judge of the Minnesota Tax Court, heard Respondent's Motion to Dismiss on November 22, 1999 at the Hennepin County District Court facilities in the Minneapolis City Hall, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Attorneys and Law Firms

Thomas R. Wilhelmy, Attorney at Law, represented the petitioner.

Mark Kapter Maher, Assistant Hennepin County Attorney, represented the respondent.

ORDER

Raymond R. Krause, Judge.

The Court, having heard and considered the arguments of counsel and upon all of the files, records and proceedings herein, now makes the following:

ORDER

Respondent's Motion to Dismiss is hereby denied.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

MEMORANDUM

On September 29, 1998, Petitioner filed petitions challenging the January 2, 1998 assessments regarding the subject property. This motion to dismiss is brought by Respondent for failure by Petitioner to provide income and expense data within 60 days of filing this petition as required by Minn.Stat. § 278.05, subd. 6(a) (“the 60-Day Rule”). The 60-Day rule states in relevant part:

Information, including income and expense figures, verified net rentable areas, and anticipated income and expenses, for income-producing property must be provided to the county assessor within 60 days after the petition has been filed under this chapter. Failure to provide the information required in this paragraph shall result in the dismissal of the petition, unless the failure to provide it was due to the unavailability of the evidence at that time.

Petitioner did provide net rentable area figures within the 60-day period. Petitioner also provided the operating budgets for 1997 and 1998, statements of revenue and expense for years 1994 through 1997, capital expenditures for 1997 and the rent roll as of March 1, 1997. Respondent had also been given other previous years' data before the 60-day period. Because Petitioner operates on a calendar fiscal year, the income and expense data for 1998 and anticipated income and expense data for 1999 contained in the budget were unavailable until early 1999, after the 60-day period.

Respondent argues that month by month data, which was available during the 60-day period, should have been provided, followed by full supplementation of that data when the full year information became available. Respondent cites BFW Co. v. County of Ramsey, 566 N.W.2d 702 (Minn.1997) as authority for the proposition that Petitioner must provide “all information to which the petitioner has access” during the 60-day period.

In BFW, the petitioner provided the County with no information at all during the 60-day period. The petitioner felt that data it had was “inaccurate” and could not be verified within the 60-day period. That is a substantially different situation than that which faces us in this case. Here, Petitioner has attempted to provide the Respondent with all relevant data available, including the submission of past years' data.

The only financial information required by the 60-Day Rule that was not provided was the 1998 income and expenses and the 1999 anticipated income and expenses. In each case they were not provided because the data did not yet exist in the middle of the Petitioner's fiscal year. The question before us then, is whether the statute requires the production of month by month data when the year end data is not yet available. We find that it does not.

The purpose of the 60-Day Rule was stated by the Minnesota Supreme Court in BFW to be “to provide an adequate, speedy, and simple remedy for any taxpayer to have the validity of his claim, defense, or objections determined by the court in matters where the taxpayer claims that his real estate has been partially, unfairly, or unequally assessed.” The purpose was not to provide a county with the means to snare unwary petitioners because they did not provide every bit of...

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