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SW 98/99, LLC (“SW”), appealed a Pike County Chancery Court order dismissing its complaint with prejudice under Mississippi Rule of Civil Procedure 41(b). SW filed objections to the tax assessments for the years 2005 and 2006 for several low-income housing properties, but those objections were denied. SW then filed a complaint at Chancery Court alleging that Pike County, the Pike County Board of Supervisors, and the Pike County Tax Assessor (collectively “the defendants”) had wrongfully and excessively assessed taxes on SW’s properties using an appraisal method not authorized by Section 27-35-50(4)(d). Along with SW’s chancery-court lawsuit, SW also appealed the property-tax assessments to the Pike County Circuit Court. This case and SW’s tax appeals proceeded separately along their own paths until March 2011, when the chancellor entered an order granting the defendants’ motion to stay the proceedings in this case pending final resolution of SW’s circuit-court tax appeals. By 2015, the Pike County Circuit Court granted summary judgment to SW on each of its tax appeals, ordering the defendants to refund SW’s overpayments for the years 2005 through 2012. The defendants moved for reconsideration. While this matter was still pending, SW’s attorney was concurrently involved in an unrelated case in federal district court. The district court contacted SW’s attorney to inquire as to his availability for a trial beginning September 14, 2015, one day before the trial setting in this tax assessment case. Because the circuit court had not yet ruled on the defendants’ motion for reconsideration in SW’s tax appeals, SW’s attorney believed that the chancellor’s stay of proceedings in this case remained in effect, as the circuit-court proceedings were not “finally resolved.” Because of this, SW’s attorney contacted the chancery court to request that the trial date be continued and removed from the trial docket. Although later disputed by the court administrator, SW’s attorney believed at this time that the case had been continued and that the trial setting had been removed from the docket. SW’s attorney then informed counsel for the defendants of the continuance. The defendants did not object to the continuance. The chancellor entered a show-cause order noting that SW had not appeared at its scheduled motions hearing and that neither of the parties had appeared on the scheduled trial date. The order acknowledged that “some telephonic communication was made by a staff member of Counsel to the Court Administrator regarding the prior Order staying this litigation.” The chancellor’s show-cause order concluded that SW’s lawsuit was “stale and in a posture to be dismissed for lack of prosecution inasmuch as Counsel set aside two full trial days on a heavily congested trial docket and failed to appear for trial.” Finding that the chancery court abused its discretion in ruling that SW had failed to prosecute its complaint, the Mississippi Supreme Court reversed the chancery court’s judgment and remanded this case to the chancery court for further proceedings. View "SW 98/99, LLC v. Pike County, Mississippi" on Justia Law

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The Eighth Circuit affirmed the tax court's order finding that taxpayer owed additional income taxes and penalties. The court held that the person that issued the notice of deficiency was in a supervisory position and thus the notice satisfied the statutory requirement that the deficiency be determined and sent by someone duly authorized by the Secretary of the Treasury. View "Muncy v. CIR" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) following the Court’s remand in Navistar I, holding that the BTA acted reasonably and lawfully in upholding the tax commissioner’s reduction of Navistar Inc.’s commercial-activity-tax (CAT) credit to zero. In Navistar I, the Supreme Court concluded that the BTA had ignored the testimony of Navistar’s experts in upholding the commissioner’s reduction of Navistar’s CAT credit to zero, an omission that made the BTA’s decision unreasonable and unlawful. After the BTA again upheld the tax commissioner’s decision, Navistar appealed, objecting to the BTA’s findings and its conclusion. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA’s findings were supported by reliable and probative evidence and that the BTA’s conclusion was reasonable and lawful. View "Navistar, Inc. v. Testa" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Alysia Webb filed a verified petition for mandamus relief with the superior court, alleging the City of Riverside (Riverside) violated Propositions 26 and 218 when it began transferring additional revenue from electric utility reserve fund accounts into the general fund without approval by the electorate. Webb contended the court improperly dismissed her case without leave to amend on a demurrer because the 120-day statute of limitations arising under Public Utilities Code section 10004.52 did not apply to her challenge of Riverside's change in calculation of its electric general fund transfer. She further argued the fund transfers constituted a tax increase because they altered the methodology used to calculate the amount of money Riverside transfers from the electric utility reserve to the general fund. After review, the Court of Appeal disagreed and affirmed the superior court. View "Webb v. City of Riverside" on Justia Law

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Petitioner Alysia Webb filed a verified petition for mandamus relief with the superior court, alleging the City of Riverside (Riverside) violated Propositions 26 and 218 when it began transferring additional revenue from electric utility reserve fund accounts into the general fund without approval by the electorate. Webb contended the court improperly dismissed her case without leave to amend on a demurrer because the 120-day statute of limitations arising under Public Utilities Code section 10004.52 did not apply to her challenge of Riverside's change in calculation of its electric general fund transfer. She further argued the fund transfers constituted a tax increase because they altered the methodology used to calculate the amount of money Riverside transfers from the electric utility reserve to the general fund. After review, the Court of Appeal disagreed and affirmed the superior court. View "Webb v. City of Riverside" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court held that summary judgment was improper in this case alleging fraudulent concealment and professional negligence. In her complaint, Plaintiff alleged that Defendants failed properly to prepare and file her delinquent tax returns for tax years 2006 through 2009 and intentionally deceived her about the status of the returns. The trial court allowed Defendants’ motion for partial summary judgment regarding Plaintiff’s fraudulent concealment claim, the corresponding claim for punitive damages, and Defendants’ statute of repose defense for professional negligence for tax years 2006 and 2007. The court of appeals reversed the trial court’s decision regarding the statute of repose and affirmed the trial court’s dismissal of Plaintiff’s fraudulent concealment claim and Plaintiff’s related claim for punitive damages. The Supreme Court reversed in part, holding that genuine issues of material fact existed regarding the fraudulent concealment claim and the accompanying punitive damages claim, as well as the triggering event for the running of the statute of repose. View "Head v. Gould Killian CPA Group, P.A." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the order of the Tax Equalization and Review Commission (TERC) affirming the valuations of certain grassland properties owned by the Betty L. Green Living Trust and the Richard R. Green Living Trust (the Trusts) that had been established by the county assessor and approved by the county board of equalization (the Board). In its decision, TERC concluded that the Trusts did not present competent evidence to rebut the presumption that the Board faithfully performed its duties and had sufficient competent evidence to make its determinations. The Supreme Court affirmed TERC’s order, holding that TERC’s decision conformed to the law, was supported by competent evidence, and was neither arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable. View "Betty L. Green Living Trust v. Morrill County Board of Equalization" on Justia Law

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The Board of Supervisors of Rankin County appealed a circuit court decision granting Lakeland Income Properties’ summary judgment motion and holding that Lakeland Income Properties was properly before the circuit court and was entitled to an ad valorem tax exemption under Mississippi Code Section 61-3-21 for land rented from the Jackson Municipal Airport Authority. The circuit court also granted a refund of the 2015 ad valorem taxes. Lakeland Income Properties filed a cross-appeal, arguing it was entitled to an ad valorem tax refund under Mississippi Code Section 27-73-7 for the 2015 ad valorem taxes and for the prior three years. Under a de novo standard of review, the Mississippi Supreme Court affirmed the trial court in holding that the ad valorem tax exemption sought by Lakeland Income Properties was automatic and self-operating under Mississippi Code Section 61-3-21, and thereby, properly before the circuit court under Mississippi Code Section 11-51-77. Further, the Court affirmed the trial court’s holding that Lakeland Income Properties was entitled to a refund of the 2015 taxes. The Court reversed, however, the trial court’s holding that Lakeland Income Properties was not entitled to a refund for the 2012, 2013 and 2014 tax years, holding that Lakeland Income Properties was entitled to the refund under Mississippi Code Section 27-73-7. View "Rankin County Board of Supervisors v. Lakeland Income Properties, LLC" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the Tax Court and held that the Tax Court correctly determined that IRS Appeals did not abuse its discretion by concluding that the IRS properly assessed taxpayers' tax liabilities. Furthermore, the Tax Court did not exceed its jurisdiction by analyzing the closing agreement in order to reach that holding. The court also held that the Tax Court's interpretation of the closing agreement was also correct, as well as its conclusion that IRS Appeals did not abuse its discretion by rejecting taxpayers' offer-in-compromise. View "Estate of Robert C. Duncan v. CIR" on Justia Law

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The classification of real property for tax purposes is based on the actual use of the property, and an injunction prohibiting agricultural use of a residentially-zoned property, which is based on a restrictive covenant, does not control the property’s tax assessment classification. However, the record before the Board in this case contained no evidence that the property was used agriculturally within the meaning of Wisconsin tax law. Donald Thoma and Polk Properties LLC (collectively, Thoma) challenged the Village of Slinger’s 2014 property tax assessment for land Thoma attempted to develop into a residential subdivision. The property previously operated as a farm and received an agricultural classification for tax assessment purposes. Thoma and the Village later entered into an agreement that contained a restrictive covenant prohibiting Thoma from using the land for agriculture. The Village then obtained an injunction prohibiting any agricultural use on the property. The Board voted to uphold the assessor’s assessment, which the assessor reached by changing the use classification from agricultural to residential. The circuit court affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Board’s decision upholding the tax assessment was lawful and supported by a reasonable view of the evidence; and (2) the circuit court did not err in denying Thoma’s request to vacate the original order. View "Thoma v. Village of Slinger" on Justia Law