Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) dismissing the appeal of a group of Landowners challenging the tax commissioner’s journal entries that set forth current agricultural-use values (CAUVs) that county auditors use to value farmland for tax purposes. In this, the Landowners’ second appeal, the Landowners argued that the CAUV journal entries are rules subject to the rulemaking requirements of Ohio Rev. Code 119. The BTA dismissed the appeal, determining that it did not have jurisdiction over the appeal. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BTA incorrectly stated that it did not have jurisdiction over the Landowners’ rule-review appeal because Ohio Rev. Code 5703.14 plainly authorizes an injured party to challenge a rule issued by the tax commissioner on the basis that it is unreasonable; but (2) because the Landowners did not make any showing that the rules were unreasonable, it was proper for the BTA to dismiss their appeal. View "Adams v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the Board of Revision’s (BOR) valuation of the subject property in this case, concluding that the Board of Education (BOE) had not overcome the presumption that a July 2010 sale of the property was not an arm’s-length transaction. In a related case, the Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the BTA ruling that the sale of the subject property and related assets for $43 million in July 2010 did not establish the true value of the property for tax year 2010. The court held that the BTA reasonably and lawfully valued the real property at $13,800,000 - the 2010 appraised value submitted by the property owner. This case involved the same parties, the same property, the same sale, and the same appraisal report but related to tax year 2012. In this appeal, the BOE argued that the July 2010 sale was a recent arm’s-length transaction determining the value of the real property. The Supreme Court held (1) the school board’s reliance on the sale price in this case was barred under the doctrine of collateral estoppel; and (2) the BTA reasonably and lawfully adopted the appraiser’s 2012 valuation. View "Warrensville Heights City School District Board of Education v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reinstated the appeal of a group of landowners challenging the tax commissioner’s journal entry that set forth a table assigning per-acre values to different types of agricultural land, holding that the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) had jurisdiction to review the journal entry and therefore erred in dismissing the appeal. In dismissing the appeal, the BTA concluded that it id not have jurisdiction under Ohio Rev. Code 5717.02 to consider an appeal of the journal entry because the journal entry was not a “final determination.” The BTA also concluded that the journal entry was not a “rule.” The Supreme Court reversed the BTA’s dismissal of the appeal and remanded the cause for further proceedings, holding (1) the journal entry is not a rule and thus is not subject to challenge under statutory provisions dealing with rulemaking; but (2) the journal entry is a “final determination,” which the BTA has jurisdiction to review. View "Adams v. Testa" on Justia Law

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In this real-property valuation case, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that San Diego Real Estate Investments, LLC’s (SD REI) complaint seeking to reduce the county auditor’s tax-year-2010 valuation of the subject property was jurisdictionally valid. SD REI’s complaint alleged that the value of the subject property should be reduced from $90,400 to $26,000. The Board of Revision (BOR) reduced the property’s value to $26,000 for tax year 2010. The Board of Education (BOE) appealed to the BTA. Thereafter, the BOE requested that the BTA remand the matter to the BOR with instructions to dismiss the complaint and reinstate the auditor’s valuation, asserting that SD REI’s complaint failed to invoke the BOR’s jurisdiction because the complaint was filed by an individual lacking the requisite authority. The BTA denied the request and ruled that the property’s value should be $26,000 for tax years 2010 through 2013. The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the cause to the BTA with instructions to dismiss the complaint, holding that the complaint was jurisdictionally defective. View "Columbus City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reversing the decision of the Board of Revision (BOR) and reinstating the auditor’s tax-year-2011 valuation of the subject property at $1,550,000. Appellant filed a valuation complaint, and the BOR reduced the value of the property to $300,000. The BTA found that the record did not support the BOR’s decision to reduce the subject property’s value and reinstated the auditor’s valuation. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA did not violate the rule stated in Bedford Board of Education v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision, 875 N.E.2d 913, by reinstating the auditor’s valuation. View "Olentangy Local Schools Board of Education v. Delaware County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) denying Appellant’s request to reduce the value of residential property he owned during the 2013 tax year. The subject property consisted of a .13-acre parcel improved with a single-family home. For tax year 2013, Appellant requested that the Board of Revision (BOR) reduce the fiscal officer’s valuation from $88,600 to $6,000. The BOR retained the fiscal officer’s valuation. The BTA also retained the fiscal officer’s valuation, concluding that Appellant failed to met his burden to adduce competent and probative evidence of value and that there was inadequate evidence to independently determine a value. The Supreme Court remanded for consideration of the evidence, holding that the BTA erred by failing to account for potentially material evidence of the property’s sale in 2009. View "Mann v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) determining that the subject property in this case should be valued in 2013 according to its 2012 sale price of $550,000. The property was retail property that was split from a larger parcel and sold to Appellee. For tax year 2013, the auditor valued the subject property at $2,199,700. Appellee filed a valuation complaint asking for a reduction to $850,000 - the same value attributed to the undivided parcel for tax year 2012. The Board of Revision (BOR) reduced the new parcel’s value to $1,282,740. The BTA rejected the BOR’s valuation and valued the property at $550,000, finding that the 2012 sale was a recent arm’s-length transaction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA’s decision was reasonable and lawful. View "Huber Heights City Schools Board of Education v. Montgomery County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) and Board of Revision (BOR) to retain the county fiscal officer’s valuation of real property owned by Appellant. The subject property consisted of a single-family dwelling located on a half-acre parcel in the city of Beachwood. For tax year 2013, Appellant filed a complaint seeking to reduce the fiscal officer’s valuation from $1,429,100 to $850,000. The Supreme Court affirmed the BTA’s decision, holding (1) Appellant’s value-related arguments and procedural arguments were unavailing; and (2) Appellant failed to show that the BTA acted unreasonably or unlawfully. View "Jakobovitch v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reversing the tax commissioner’s determination finding that certain apartment buildings did not qualify for an exemption under Ohio Rev. Code 5709.87. Appellee, the owner of the property in question, remediated the property and improved it with apartment buildings. The tax commissioner found that the apartment buildings did not qualify for a partial tax exemption under section 5709.87 - the “brownfield exemption” - for having undergone environmental cleanup. The BTA, however, concluded that Appellee was entitled to a tax exemption for the assessed value of the apartment buildings under section 5709.87. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the tax commissioner waived his main argument and one other issue by failing to raise them first before the BTA; and (2) the tax commissioner’s remaining arguments lacked merit. View "Kinnear Road Redevelopment, L.L.C. v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming in part and reversing in part a tax assessment issued by the tax commissioner based on a consumer-use-tax audit of certain purchases made by Accel, Inc. The court held that the BTA acted reasonably and lawfully in (1) reversing the imposition of use tax on materials Accel acquired to be used and incorporated into gift sets; (2) reversing the imposition of use tax on certain transactions by which Accel obtained employment services through one of its suppliers; (3) ruling that no portion of the assessment was time-barred under Ohio Rev. Code 5703.58(B); (4) declining to exempt the production of gift sets and employment-services transactions with a different supplier; and (5) admitting into evidence the report and testimony of the opposing parties’ expert witnesses. View "Accel, Inc. v. Testa" on Justia Law