Articles Posted in Government & Administrative Law

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The amendment to Ohio Rev. Code 5713.03 enacted in 2012 (H.B. 487) applied to the circumstances of this case and required a remand to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) for further consideration. At issue here was a 2013 real property valuation for a lease-encumbered property that had been the subject of recent arm’s-length sales. The Supreme Court held that the H.B. 487 amendment required the BTA to determine the value of the subject property’s unencumbered fee-simple estate. Because the BTA did not properly consider appraisal evidence that purported to explain why the subject property’s recent sale price did not reflect the value of the unencumbered fee-simple estate, the court vacated the BTA’s decision and remanded the case for the BTA to address and weigh the evidence before it. View "Terraza 8, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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West Carrollton City Schools Board of Education (BOE) appealed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that retained the auditor’s update-year valuation of $4,716,690 for 2011 for the two contiguous parcels of property at issue in this case. Specifically, the BOE argued, inter alia, that the BTA acted unreasonably and unlawfully by refusing either to rely on the land-sale price and actual-cost evidence to value to the property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Ohio Rev. Code barred the direct use of the land-sale price in Carmax Auto Superstores, Inc.’s 2008 acquisition of the property because Carmax spent more than $7 million on subsequently added improvements; and (2) neither the 2008 land-sale price nor the actual construction costs affirmatively negated the auditor’s valuation, and therefore, the BTA acquired no duty to perform an independent valuation. View "West Carrollton City Schools Board of Education v. Montgomery County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) upheld the tax commissioner’s denial of a property tax exemption for Appellant’s four dialysis-service centers for tax year 2007 and the denial of Appellant’s requested remission of the property taxes it paid for those facilities for tax year 2006. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the BTA as to tax year 2006 and reversed it as to tax year 2007, holding that remission was properly denied for tax year 2006, but for tax year 2007, Appellant’s use of space at the four centers qualified for exemption. Because some of the space listed in the facilities was leased to private physicians, the properties should be split-listed, with a portion taxable and the dialysis-service facilities exempt. View "Dialysis Centers of Dayton, LLC v. Testa" on Justia Law

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Appellant filed a complaint challenging the $148,800 valuation on certain property found by the fiscal officer for tax year 2012. The Cuyahoga County Board of Revision (BOR) reduced the property value to $60,000. Appellant appealed, seeking a further reduction to $25,000. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirmed and adopted the BOR’s reduced valuation. On appeal, Appellant contended that he shifted the burden of proof to the county and the county had not met its burden, and that the record negated the fiscal officer’s original assessment. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA reasonably and lawfully retained the BOR’s value under the circumstances. View "Moskowitz v. Cuyahoga County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In 1992, Appellant was injured in an accident while in the course and scope of his employment. In 2014, Appellant applied for permanent total disability benefits. A hearing officer found that Appellant was not permanently and totally disabled. Appellant filed a complaint in mandamus alleging that the Industrial Commission abused its discretion by entering an order that was not supported by the evidence. The court of appeals denied the writ. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the Commission did not abuse its discretion in relying on an expert’s report to find that Appellant was capable of up to four hours of sedentary work a day, and therefore, the court of appeals properly denied Appellant’s request for a writ of mandamus. View "State ex rel. Bonnlander v. Harmon" on Justia Law

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The former owner of the subject property at issue in this case filed a valuation complaint in 2006 seeking to reduce the property’s tax-year-2005 value. The Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR) lowered the value but failed to send that notice to the Groveport Madison Local Schools Board of Education (BOE) at the time. When no appeal was timely filed, a refund was issued to a prior owner, and the case was closed. NSCO International Investment, LLC subsequently acquired the property. More than four years later, the BOE appealed, citing its lack of notice as the reason for its delay. The BOR made no effort to notify NSCO of the appeal. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reinstated the auditor’s valuation. Two years after the BTA decision, NSCO asked the BTA to vacate its decision and schedule a new hearing because it had not been given notice or an opportunity to be heard. the BTA denied NSCO’s motion to vacate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BTA lacked jurisdiction to vacate its decision after the time to appeal that decision had passed; and (2) the BTA complied with Ohio Rev. Code 5717.03(B) by sending a copy of its decision to NSCO’s tax mailing address. View "Groveport Madison Local Schools Bd. of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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Norman James was injured while employed by Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. James later quit his job at Wal-Mart. James briefly got a job with Casper Transport Inc. and Casper Service Automotive (Casper). On June 1, 2007, James was involved in an auto accident unrelated to his employment. Casper fired James on November 16, 2007 for excessive absenteeism, and James had not worked since that time. James filed a motion requesting temporary-total-disability benefits beginning November 17, 2007. The Industrial Commission denied benefits for the period from November 17, 2007 through September 29, 2009, the date of the Commission hearing. James then filed an original action in mandamus. The court of appeals granted a limited writ vacating the denial of temporary-total-disability benefits and returned the case to the Commission to further address the end of James’ employment at Casper. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals to the extent that the court issued a limited writ of mandamus and affirmed the remainder of the appellate court’s judgment, holding that the evidence supported the Commission’s decision to deny temporary-total-disability compensation. View "State ex rel. James v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc." on Justia Law

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At issue in this case were the proper valuations for tax year 2008 of two government-subsidized housing complexes in Franklin County. For each of the two properties, the property owner filed a complaint challenging the auditor’s 2008 valuations. The Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR) rejected the appraisal evidence the property owner presented in support of a claimed reduction and adopted the auditor’s original valuation. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reversed and adopted the property owners’ appraisal valuations. The South-Western City Schools Board of Education (BOE) appealed. The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the BTA and remanded for further proceedings, holding that the BTA erred by failing to give any consideration to the contravening evidence presented by the BOE at the BTA hearing. View "Lutheran Social Services of Central Ohio Village Housing, Inc. v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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David Emerson owned two adjoining parcels of real property in Erie County. The Erie County auditor’s aggregate valuation of the two parcels for tax year 2011 was $328,270. Emerson challenged the valuations, arguing that his 2009 purchase of the parcels established lower true values because it was a recent arm’s-length transaction. The Erie County Board of Revision (BOR) retained the auditor’s valuation. On appeal, the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reversed the BOR’s decision and valued the property at $180,000 according to the sale price. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Emerson demonstrated a recent arm’s-length sale; and (2) the county cannot rebut the sale price with an appraisal. View "Emerson v. Erie County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The real property in this case was a manufacturing and distribution facility owned and operated by Johnson Coca-Cola Bottling Company, Inc. The Hamilton County auditor valued the property at $13,571,760 for tax year 2011. Coca-Cola filed a complaint seeking a reduction in value. The Hamilton County Board of Revision (BOR) rejected Coca-Cola’s complaint and retained the auditor’s valuation. On appeal, the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) increased the value to $14,000,000 based on a new appraisal submitted by the auditor. The Supreme Court affirmed the BTA’s decision as modified to correct a clerical error, holding that the BTA’s decision was reasonable and lawful. View "Johnston Coca-Cola Bottling Co. v. Hamilton County Board of Revision" on Justia Law