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The United States charged Hall with unlawful gambling and money laundering and obtained a preliminary criminal forfeiture order for 18 parcels in Knox County. The County determined that Hall owed substantial delinquent real property taxes, giving it a first lien under Tennessee law. Under 21 U.S.C. 853(n)(2), a party asserting an interest in property that is subject to criminal forfeiture may seek a hearing on his alleged interest within 30 days. Knox County filed an untimely claim. The court amended the preliminary forfeiture order to cover three more Knox County properties. Knox County filed a timely second claim and requested an interlocutory sale and delay of forfeiture. The United States stated that accrued taxes and interest would be paid, regardless of whether the taxing authority filed a claim, but argued that Knox County would have no legal interest in accruing taxes once title passes, citing the Supremacy Clause, and objected to delaying a final forfeiture order. The Sixth Circuit vacated the forfeiture order. Knox County has a legal interest in the property (tax lien), so the district court erred in dismissing its claim for lack of standing but it is not necessarily entitled to a hearing. The court may ascertain the scope of Knox County’s interest on summary judgment but must account for that interest before entering a final forfeiture order. The court did not abuse its discretion in denying Knox County’s motion for an interlocutory sale. View "United States v. Hall" on Justia Law

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Here, the Supreme Court reaffirmed the longstanding principle that direct production involves a process that includes those steps essential and integral to transforming tangible personal property into a distinct marketable good. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the Tax Court affirming the decision of the Department of State Revenue partially denying refund claims submitted by Petitioner for sales tax paid on blast freezing equipment and the electricity used in operating that equipment. Petitioner petitioned the Supreme Court for review, arguing that it qualified for exemptions under the relevant statutes because it engages in “direct production” when it blast freezes another company’s food product and that it engages in its own production process in producing the new, distinct marketable goods. In reversing, the Supreme Court held (1) Petitioner’s blast freezing process constitutes direct production because it represents the crucial final step in creating a distinct marketable good; and (2) the relevant statutes and regulations do not impose a requirement that Petitioner’s blast-freezing procedure be its own, separate production process. View "Merchandise Warehouse Co. v. Indiana Department of State Revenue" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the superior court granting the City of Providence’s motion for summary judgment in this lawsuit filed by Lehigh Cement Co. seeking to recover approximately $500,000 in real estate taxes billed and collected by the city from 2006 to 2009. The court held (1) the hearing justice did not err in granting summary judgment on Lehigh’s claim under R.I. Gen. Laws 44-5-23, as the statute does not provide relief to a taxpayer; (2) summary judgment on Lehigh’s claim under the fair distribution clause of the Rhode Island Constitution was appropriate; and (3) the hearing justice did not err in granting summary judgment on Lehigh’s claim under R.I. Gen. Laws 44-5-27. View "Lehigh Cement Co. v. Quinn" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Marin Metropolitan District (the “District”) was a special district created as a vehicle to finance the infrastructure of a proposed residential community. In late 2007, the organizers of the District held an election and approved the creation of the District. At the same time, pursuant to Colorado’s Taxpayer Bill of Rights (“TABOR”), the organizers voted to approve the issuance of bonds and to impose property taxes to pay the bonds on landowners within the District. A group of condominium owners subsequently learned that their properties had been included in the District under what they believed to be suspicious circumstances and that they had been assessed property taxes to pay the bonds. Acting through their homeowners’ association, respondent Landmark Towers Association, Inc., (“Landmark”) the owners brought two lawsuits: one to invalidate the creation of the District and the other (this case) to invalidate the approval of the bonds and taxes and to recover taxes that they had paid to the District, among other things. The district court ultimately ordered a partial refund of the taxes paid by the condominium owners and enjoined the District from assessing future taxes on the owners in order to pay its obligations under the bonds. Both sides appealed, and the court of appeals concluded, in pertinent part, that Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election was timely and that the election violated TABOR and applicable statutes. At issue before the Colorado Supreme Court was whether Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election was timely and the election was validly conducted. The Supreme Court reversed, finding Section 1-11-213(4), C.R.S. (2017), required a party seeking to contest an election like that present here to file a written statement of intent to contest the election within ten days after the official survey of returns has been filed with the designated election official. Without that statement, no could had jurisdiction over the contest. Landmark’s challenge to the bond and tax election at issue was time barred, and thus, the Court reversed the judgment below and remanded for further proceedings. View "UMB Bank, N.A. v. Landmark Towers Association, Inc." on Justia Law

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Taxpayer TransCanada Hydro appealed a superior court decision that valued flow easements that taxpayer owned over land in the Town of Newbury at $1,532,211 for property tax purposes. Taxpayer owned and operated the Wilder Dam on the Connecticut River in Hartford, Vermont, downstream from Newbury, and the flow easements gave taxpayer the right to flood land abutting the river in Newbury. Taxpayer argued the valuation was unsupported by the admissible evidence and the court’s reasoning. Finding no reversible error in the superior court’s valuation, the Vermont Supreme Court affirmed. View "TransCanada Hydro Northeast, Inc. v. Town of Newbury" on Justia Law

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In February 2015, the city of Spokane (City) enacted an ordinance that granted a local property tax exemption to senior citizens and disabled veterans. Relying on a letter by the Washington Department of Revenue (DOR), the Spokane County assessor and treasurer (collectively County) refused to implement the ordinance, believing it to violate the Washington Constitution, Article VII, Sections 1, 9 and 10. The issue this case presented for the Washington Supreme Court in this case was whether the City's ordinance indeed violated the Washington Constitution's uniform property tax requirement. The trial court ruled that the ordinance was constitutional and issued a writ requiring the County to apply it. DOR filed a motion to intervene, and both DOR and the County appealed the trial court's ruling. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed and held that the City's ordinance was unconstitutional. Agreeing with the Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court affirmed. View "City of Spokane v. Horton" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the judgment of the State Board of Property Tax Review granting Emera Maine’s request for a property tax abatement for tax year 2012 pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 36, 841(1). Emera Maine was in the business of transporting and distributing electric power over transmission lines. The Board found that Emera’s abatement applications concerned an issue of error or illegality in assessment amounting to double taxation. The superior court affirmed the decision of the Board. The Supreme Judicial Court affirmed, holding that the evidence supported the Board’s finding that Emera’s error in estimating a value for and reporting ownership of a transmission line that Emera did not own resulted in an “illegality, error or irregularity in assessment” rather than an “error in the valuation of property,” thus entitling Emera to an abatement pursuant to Me. Rev. Stat. 36, 841(1). View "Town of Eddington v. Emera Maine" 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