A development company seeking a significant reduction in Lake County tax assessments has not offered enough evidence to support a reduction, the Indiana Tax Court said.
Under discussion in Gold Coast Rand Development Corp. v Lake County Assessor, 22T-TA-10, are five residential properties in Gary owned by Gold Coast Rand Development Corp. Andy Young, president of Gold Coast, has requested review of the 2017 tax assessments of those properties on the grounds that the original assessments exceeded the assessment established in a 2012 settlement agreement.
But the Lake County Property Tax Assessment Appeals Board found insufficient evidence to justify a change in the ratings, which were valued at $ 3,200 for one package and $ 1,200 each for the other four.
Gold Coast responded with five individual appeals to the Indiana Board of Tax Appeals, which held telephone hearings in February 2022. Gold Coast said the use of telephone hearings was detrimental to the presentation of certain geographic evidence.
In addition, on the merits, Gold Coast argued that the Lake County councilor had used a “poor” methodology to produce the assessments, particularly with regard to the development of base rates. He sought a valuation cut to $ 600 for one package and $ 1,000 each for the other four.
The evaluator, however, noted that Young was not a certified Level III evaluator-evaluator. Additionally, the evaluator stated that Gold Coast had only offered “its own unsupported valuation views rather than reliable and probative market-based evidence.”
The Indiana board approved and confirmed the assessments. He also dismissed the Gold Coast bias argument, noting that the company had the opportunity to request an in-person or Zoom audition but didn’t.
The college then denied the hearing and the case went to the Tax Commission, which it also affirmed.
Before the tax court, Gold Coast filed 12 artifacts that were not included in the certified administrative register because, according to Gold Coast, the Lake County evaluating officials refused to provide information or provided “false information” until after the hearings before the Indiana council. He said those artifacts – which included maps, emails, spreadsheets, and copies of a reevaluation plan, among other documents – corroborated his argument that “Lake County evaluation officials committed a litany of evaluation irregularities “.
“The certified administrative record, however, disproves Gold Coast claims,” Judge Martha Wentworth wrote. In fact, the minutes indicate that Lake County Assessment Officers provided Gold Coast with the required documentation prior to the Indiana Council hearings.
“… Consequently, there is no evidence before the Court to indicate that the twelve artifacts in question constitute ‘recently discovered’ evidence,” continued Wentworth. “… Therefore, the Court will not take into consideration the twelve artifacts annexed to the Gold Coast pleading in resolving this appeal.
“Finally, even if the tax court were to consider the twelve Gold Coast artifacts, they would not help the Gold Coast claims,” concluded Wentworth, without many of the artifacts referring to information from the years before or after 2017. Gold Coast did not cite any evidence in the certified administrative register to support its arguments.
Finally, the Indiana Board, as a matter of fact, assessed the credibility and reliability of the record evidence, finding that Gold Coast had not offered market-based evidential evidence to prove the correct values of the five packages for fiscal 2017. , and the Tax Court does not have the legal authority to examine the evidence de novo. … Consequently, the Court finds that Gold Coast has not proven that it is entitled to the relief it seeks. “