OSWX Prop. v. Cnty. of Hennepin, 27-CV-20-6091

CourtTax Court of Minnesota
Writing for the CourtBradford S. Delapena, Judge
PartiesOSWX Property, LLC, Petitioner, v. County of Hennepin, Respondent. BNC National Bank, Petitioner, v. County of Hennepin, Respondent. OSWX Property, LLC, Petitioner, v. County of Hennepin, Respondent. OSWX Ridge LLC, Petitioner, v. County of Hennepin, Respondent.
Decision Date10 November 2021
Docket Number27-CV-20-11825,27-CV-21-8762,27-CV-20-6091,27-CV-20-7499

OSWX Property, LLC, Petitioner,
v.

County of Hennepin, Respondent.

BNC National Bank, Petitioner,
v.

County of Hennepin, Respondent.

OSWX Property, LLC, Petitioner,
v.

County of Hennepin, Respondent.

OSWX Ridge LLC, Petitioner,
v.

County of Hennepin, Respondent.

Nos. 27-CV-20-6091, 27-CV-20-7499, 27-CV-20-11825, 27-CV-21-8762

Tax Court of Minnesota, Regular Division, Hennepin County

November 10, 2021


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These four matters-consolidated solely for hearing petitioners OSWX Property, LLC's and OSWX Ridge LLC's motions to consolidate-came before The Honorable Bradford S. Delapena, Judge of the Minnesota Tax Court.

Larry D. Martin, L.D. Martin Law Office, represents petitioners OSWX Property, LLC and OSWX Ridge LLC.

Grover C. Sayre, III, Leonard, O'Brien, Spencer, Gale & Sayre, Ltd., represents petitioner BNC National Bank.

Rebecca L.S. Holschuh and Jeffrey M. Wojciechowski, Assistant County Attorneys, represent respondent Hennepin County.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART MOTIONS TO CONSOLIDATE

Bradford S. Delapena, Judge

Petitioners OSWX Property, LLC and OSWX Ridge LLC (collectively "OSWX") move to consolidate four valuation cases. Three arise from OSWX's interest in the subject property, a multi-tenant office building in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Specifically, OSWX has filed petitions challenging the 2019, 2020, and 2021 property tax assessments (for Pay-20, Pay-21, and Pay-22 taxes, respectively). The fourth case stems from Petitioner BNC National Bank's petition (based on a separate interest in the subject property) also challenging the 2019 assessment for Pay-20 taxes. OSWX proposes that the consolidated matter should proceed in accordance with the scheduling order for its Pay-20 petition, under which discovery must be completed by December 27, 2021. BNC filed no written opposition to OSWX's motion; Respondent Hennepin County opposes it only as to the Pay-21 and Pay-22 petitions, on the ground that including in the consolidation those later petitions would prejudice both the County and BNC.

Based upon all the files, records, and proceedings herein, the court now makes the following:

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ORDER

1. Petitioner OSWX's motion to consolidate is granted with respect to the two Pay-20 petitions (File Nos. 27-CV-20-6091 & 27-CV-20-7499), but is denied with respect to the Pay-21 and Pay-22 petitions (File Nos. 27-CV-20-11825 & 27-CV-21-8762).

2. The consolidated Pay-20 matters shall proceed in accordance with the March 29, 2021 Scheduling Order in File No. 27-CV-20-6091.

3. The County's separate motion to consolidate File Numbers 27-CV-20-6091 and 27-CV-20-7499 is denied as moot.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

MEMORANDUM

I. Background

On April 23, 2020, Petitioner OSXW Property, LLC filed a property tax petition challenging the assessor's estimated market value as of January 2, 2019 (for taxes payable in 2020) for a property located in Eden Prairie, Minnesota (File No. 27-CV-20-6091).[1] The court has filed a Scheduling Order for this Pay-20 matter establishing numerous litigation and trial preparation

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deadlines.[2] On May 26, 2020, Petitioner BNC National Bank-based on a separate and distinct interest in the subject property-filed its own petition for Pay-20 taxes.[3]

Two additional property tax petitions for the subject property are relevant here. On September 21, 2020, OSXW Property, LLC filed a petition challenging the assessor's estimated market value as of January 2, 2020 (for taxes payable in 2021).[4] And on July 15, 2021, OSWX Ridge LLC filed a petition challenging the assessor's estimated market value as of January 2, 2021 (for taxes payable in 2022).[5] The court has not yet filed a scheduling order for either matter.

Respondent Hennepin County does not object to consolidation of the two Pay-20 petitions.[6]It does, however, oppose inclusion of the Pay-21 and Pay-22 petitions in the consolidation, arguing: (1) that BNC has no interest in the latter cases;[7] (2) that there are material differences among the three assessment dates (including a major tenant's departure, property renovations, and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic);[8] and (3) that the deadlines contained in the Pay-20 Scheduling Order for File No. 27-CV-20-6091 (which OSWX says should govern the consolidated

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matter) would deprive it of an adequate opportunity to conduct discovery and to prepare its case in the Pay-21 and Pay-22 matters.[9]

II. Governing Law

The Minnesota Rules of Civil Procedure "govern the...

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