To resolve the issue, the Board of Tax Review created its own valuation for the mall for the four tax years at issue that was closer to what the appraiser said the mall was worth than officials were told. from the mall thought the property was worth.
The appeal-level Indiana Tax Court upheld the council’s assessment of the mall, except for two minor issues, in December.
The Supreme Court, however, said the tax review board and tax court had overstepped their bounds in independently designing and asserting a value for the mall, according to the ruling written by Justice Geoffrey Slaughter, a native of Crown Point. .
Slaughter said Indiana laws clearly require that the tax board, when a disputed appraisal is 5% higher than the previous appraisal, accept as correct either the appraiser’s appraisal of a property or owner’s appraisal – otherwise the appraisal must revert to the previous appraisal.
He said there is no legal authority for the tax board to create its own assessment, as it did in this case, if it finds loopholes in each of the assessments provided.
Likewise, the tax court should not have upheld the council’s actions, Slaughter said.
“We apply the law as it is written and do not question the decision of the Legislature to limit the flexibility of the State Council when assessed values increase by more than the 5% threshold,” Slaughter said. .