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The Indiana Board of Tax Review ("IBTR") is the state agency charged with deciding property tax assessment appeals. The IBTR addresses appeals contesting real and personal property assessments. It also addresses appeals concerning property tax exemptions, deductions, and credits. The IBTR, however, lacks jurisdiction to address appeals where taxpayers contest only their tax bill and not their property's assessment.
Reminder to Certified Tax Representatives
In order to practice before the IBTR, a tax representative must be properly certified by the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF). 52 IAC 1-2-1. In order to maintain Certified Tax Representative status, a Certified Tax Representative must achieve Level III Assessor-Appraiser certification by December 31, 2013. A current Certified Tax Representative who fails to obtain the Level III certification by December 31, 2013 may have their Certified Tax Representative status revoked. For additional information see DLGF Memo and Website.
Appeal of $50 Penalty
A taxpayer who has been assessed a $50 penalty pursuant to Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15-1(l), may appeal the assessment of the penalty to the Indiana Board of Tax Review ("IBTR") or directly to the tax court.
To appeal the penalty to the IBTR, the taxpayer should follow the procedures for obtaining a review by the IBTR outlined in Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15-3(d) and file a Form 131 petition. The Form 131 petition must be filed not later than 45 days after the taxpayer is notified of the assessment of the $50 penalty. The Form 131 petition must be filed with the IBTR and a copy sent to the county assessor. Under Section III: Grounds for Appeal, the taxpayer should explain that the appeal is being filed pursuant to Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15-1(l) for assessment of the $50 penalty. The taxpayer should also attach a copy of the notice from the county showing the assessment of the $50 penalty.
Burden Shifting LegislationEffective July 1, 2011, the Indiana General Assembly enacted Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15-17, which has since been repealed and re-enacted as Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15-17.2 due to a technical correction. Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15-17.2 provides the following:
This section applies to any review or appeal of an assessment under this chapter if the assessment that is the subject of the review or appeal increased the assessed value of the assessed property by more than five percent (5%) over the assessed value determined by the county assessor or township assessor (if any) for the immediately preceding assessment date for the same property. The county assessor or township assessor making the assessment has the burden of proving that the assessment is correct in any review or appeal under this chapter and in any appeals taken to the Indiana board of tax review or to the Indiana tax court.
Assessment and Valuation Dates
For assessment dates after December 31, 2009, “an adjustment in the assessed value of real property under this section shall be based on the estimated true tax value of the property on the assessment date that is the basis for taxes payable on that real property.” Ind. Code § 6-1.1-4-4.5(f) (2010). Thus, for the March 1, 2010 assessment date, the valuation date and assessment date are both March 1, 2010.
For the 2006-2009 assessment years, the valuation date is “January 1 of the year preceding the year of the assessment date.” 50 IAC 21-3-3 (2006). Thus, for a March 1, 2006 assessment, the valuation date is January 1, 2005, while the valuation date for a March 1, 2007 assessment is January 1, 2006, and so on. See Valuation Date.
Who is the party to defend the PTABOA determination?
If an appeal is based on a property tax assessment board of appeals ("PTABOA") determination issued after June 30, 2007, then the county assessor is the party to defend the determination. See Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15-3(b) P.L. 219-2007 (SEA 287) §§ 39, 156(c). The statute clearly states that the county assessor is the party to defend the determination of the PTABOA.
For appeals based on a PTABOA determination issued before June 30, 2007, you must determine whether there is a township assessor. If there is a township assessor, then the township assessor is the party to defend the determination. If the township assessor’s duties have been statutorily transferred to the county assessor, then the county assessor is the party to defend the assessment.
Thus in most appeals before the Board, the county assessor is the party to defend the PTABOA determination. The only exception is for appeals based on PTABOA determinations issued before June 30, 2007, where there is a township assessor. See Chart.
Direct Appeal to IBTR
If the property tax assessment board of appeals ("PTABOA") fails to hold a hearing within 180 days after the taxpayer filed the written notice of appeal or fails to issue a determination within 120 days after the hearing, the taxpayer may appeal to the Indiana Board of Tax Review ("IBTR"). Ind. Code § 6-1.1-15-1(o). The direct appeal to the IBTR is only available in cases where the taxpayer filed written notice of appeal after June 30, 2007.