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Wrong Place, Wrong Time: State Tax Court Tosses Property Tax Case

Taxman The Associated Press has the scoop on this late-breaking story:

"A judge on Friday dismissed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the state's property tax system, ruling that homeowners who filed the case had not exhausted administrative remedies.

"The lawsuit filed in Indiana Tax Court questioned statewide assessment methods, the use of tax abatements and claimed that the system does not comply with the state constitutional requirement of a 'uniform and equal rate of property tax assessment and taxation.' It also challenged whether Daniels had authority to extend a statutory deadline for counties to adopt higher local income taxes to offset property taxes.

"'The battle for a uniform and equal tax system in Indiana will now move from the courts to the General Assembly,' John Price, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said in a statement.

"Property tax reform -- including a plan outlined by Gov. Mitch Daniels -- is expected to dominate the session that begins in earnest in January.

"The lawsuit came during a year in which average property tax bills for homeowners statewide were projected to increase by 24 percent, although many issued so far have spiked much higher. The state also ordered reassessments in as many as 21 counties because officials suspect that commercial and/or industrial properties were undervalued, which shifts more tax burden to homeowners.

"That has led to several taxpayer protests and widespread criticism of the system and prompted Daniels to outline a plan that includes a cap on property taxes.

"'This court is acutely aware of the public's discontent with the purported inadequacies of Indiana's property assessment and taxation system,' Indiana Tax Court Judge Thomas Fisher wrote in the 11-page ruling. 'What the petitioners are asking the court to do, however, is to create and confer upon itself subject matter jurisdiction where subject matter jurisdiction does not exist. This the court cannot do.'"

Comments

The attorney was John Price? Wasn't he the guy who tool on Bob and Tom several years ago? No wonder the case was thrown out!

I have posted here multiple times on the wisdom of Judge Fisher. He could not find jurisdiction for his court to rule for Mr. Price's argument. Although he clearly wished he could.

This package will hopefully get tied with a nice big red ribbon by the legislature, which has already decided, via the Speaker, to expedite the mattere.

Which means, if history is a guide, that they'll eff it up and go home to pat themselves on the back, campaign for another term and booze/golf it up with the lobbyists.

Only change this time: the public spoke loudly Tuesday. Business as normal by public officials will no longer be tolerated. If past legislative practices are any indication, there will be lots of unfinished business when the sine die gavel falls.

John Price is a goof, who again wasted MORE of the tax payers' money.

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