OSOLO TP. v. Elkhart Maple Lane Associates, No. 49T10-0203-TA-31.

Docket NºNo. 49T10-0203-TA-31.
Citation789 N.E.2d 109
Case DateMay 30, 2003
CourtTax Court of Indiana

789 N.E.2d 109

OSOLO TOWNSHIP (Elkhart County) Assessor, Elkhart County, Petitioner,
v.
ELKHART MAPLE LANE ASSOCIATES L.P., Incorrectly named as ELkhart Maple Lane Association, Respondent

No. 49T10-0203-TA-31.

Tax Court of Indiana.

May 30, 2003.


789 N.E.2d 110
Bodie J. Stegelmann, Craig M. Buche, Yoder, Ainlay, Ulmer & Buckingham, LLP, Goshen, IN, Attorneys for Petitioner

Jeffrey B. Harding, Charles E. Davis, Swift & Finlayson, Fort Wayne, IN, Attorneys for Respondent.

FISHER, J.

The Osolo Township Assessor of Elkhart County, Indiana (the Assessor) appeals from three final determinations of the Indiana Board of Tax Review (Indiana Board) valuing the real property owned by Elkhart Maple Lane Associates L.P. (Maple Lane) for the 2001 assessment. The sole issue for the Court to decide is whether the Indiana Board erred in classifying Maple Lane's land.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

Maple Lane owns "Maple Lane in the Woods," a 77-building apartment complex standing on approximately 63 acres of land in Osolo Township, Elkhart County, Indiana. The complex is located in a wooded setting with wooded areas between all the apartment buildings and parking lots.

For the 2001 assessment, the Elkhart Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals (PTABOA) assigned Maple Lane's land the following classifications: 42.597 acres as "primary"; 1.73 acres as "roadway"; and 18.699 acres as "usable undeveloped." The PTABOA included within its "primary" classification all of Maple Lane's wooded areas located between the apartment buildings and parking lots.

Maple Lane subsequently challenged the PTABOA's assessment by filing three Form 131 Petitions for Review of Assessment (Forms 131) with the State Board of Tax Commissioners (State Board).1 In its Forms 131, Maple Lane alleged that its wooded areas should have been classified as "usable undeveloped."

On December 18, 2001, the State Board held an administrative hearing. On February 1, 2002, the Indiana Board issued three final determinations on the matter.2

789 N.E.2d 111
In its final determinations, the Indiana Board reclassified Maple Lane's wooded areas from "primary" to "usable undeveloped."3

The Assessor appealed the Indiana Board's final determinations to this Court on March 15, 2002. The Court heard oral argument on February 21, 2003. Additional facts will be supplied as necessary.

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). 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 § 33-3-5-14.8(e)(1)-(5) (Supp. 2002). Furthermore, the party seeking to overturn the Indiana Board's final determination bears the burden of proving its invalidity. See Clark v. State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs, 694 N.E.2d 1230, 1233 (Ind. Tax Ct.1998). In order to meet that burden, the party seeking reversal must have submitted, during the administrative hearing process, probative evidence4 regarding the alleged assessment error. See id. See also State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs v. Gatling Gun Club, 420 N.E.2d 1324, 1329 (Ind.Ct. App.1981) (stating that only that evidence that was submitted at the administrative level is subject to judicial review).

DISCUSSION

For the 2001 assessment, commercial and industrial land was classified according to its use. IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 50, r. 2.2-4-17 (1996). Indeed, Indiana's property tax assessment regulations provided that assessing officials could classify commercial and industrial land in one of four ways:

"Primary commercial or industrial land" refers to the primary building or plant site. The following are examples of primary land:

(A) Land located under buildings.

(B) Regularly used parking areas.

(C) Roadways.

(D) Regularly used yard storage.

(E) Necessary support land.

"Secondary commercial or industrial land" refers to land utilized for purposes which are secondary to the primary use of the land. The following are examples of secondary land:

(A) Parking areas that are not used regularly.

(B) Yard storage that is not used regularly.

789 N.E.2d 112
* * * * *
"Unusable undeveloped commercial and industrial land" means vacant land that is unusable for commercial or industrial purposes.
"Usable undeveloped commercial and industrial land" means vacant land that is held for future commercial or industrial development.

IND. ADMIN. CODE tit. 50, r. 2.2-4-1(18), (19), (23), (24) (1996) (emphasis added). See also 50 IAC 2.2-4-17(b) (stating that "primary" land is "the amount of acreage necessary to support the existing facility...

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219 practice notes
  • Daw v. Hancock Cnty. Assessor, Cause No. 18T-TA-00009
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • December 5, 2018
    ...determination of the Indiana Board bears the burden of demonstrating its invalidity. Osolo Twp. Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2003). Thus, the Co-Trustees must demonstrate to the Court that the Indiana Board's final determination is arbitrary, cap......
  • College Corner, L.P. v. Dlgf, No. 49T10-0201-TA-1.
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • January 19, 2006
    ...hearing process, probative evidence regarding the alleged assessment error. See Osolo Township Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax Ct.2003) (footnote omitted). Probative evidence is evidence sufficient to establish a given fact that, if Page 908 contradicte......
  • Lake County Assessor v. U.S. Steel Corp., No. 49T10-0703-TA-19.
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • February 9, 2009
    ...Indiana Board's final determination bears the burden of demonstrating its invalidity. Osolo Twp. Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax I. The Admissiblity of U.S. Steel's Excess Cost Report In its final determination, the Indiana Board held that, under Calcul......
  • Big Foot Stores v. Franklin Tp. Assessor, No. 49T10-0712-TA-74.
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • December 9, 2009
    ...the Indiana Board's final determination bears the burden of proving its invalidity. Osolo Twp. Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS On appeal, Big Foot asserts that the Indiana Board erred in upholding the 2003 interim assessments of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
219 cases
  • Daw v. Hancock Cnty. Assessor, Cause No. 18T-TA-00009
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • December 5, 2018
    ...determination of the Indiana Board bears the burden of demonstrating its invalidity. Osolo Twp. Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2003). Thus, the Co-Trustees must demonstrate to the Court that the Indiana Board's final determination is arbitrary, cap......
  • College Corner, L.P. v. Dlgf, No. 49T10-0201-TA-1.
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • January 19, 2006
    ...hearing process, probative evidence regarding the alleged assessment error. See Osolo Township Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax Ct.2003) (footnote omitted). Probative evidence is evidence sufficient to establish a given fact that, if Page 908 contradicte......
  • Lake County Assessor v. U.S. Steel Corp., No. 49T10-0703-TA-19.
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • February 9, 2009
    ...Indiana Board's final determination bears the burden of demonstrating its invalidity. Osolo Twp. Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax I. The Admissiblity of U.S. Steel's Excess Cost Report In its final determination, the Indiana Board held that, under Calcul......
  • Big Foot Stores v. Franklin Tp. Assessor, No. 49T10-0712-TA-74.
    • United States
    • Indiana Tax Court of Indiana
    • December 9, 2009
    ...the Indiana Board's final determination bears the burden of proving its invalidity. Osolo Twp. Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS On appeal, Big Foot asserts that the Indiana Board erred in upholding the 2003 interim assessments of ......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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