Articles Posted in Idaho Supreme Court - Civil

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The Board of Equalization of Ada County (Ada County) appealed a district court’s ruling granting Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (Society) a charitable property tax exemption. After review, the Supreme Court concluded that Society was not a charitable organization under the factors announced in "Appeal of Sunny Ridge Manor, Inc.," (675 P.2d 813 (1984)). Accordingly, the Court reversed and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society v. Bd of Equalization of Ada County" on Justia Law

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The issue before the Supreme Court in this case concerned the district court’s holding that Ashton Urban Renewal Agency (AURA) had standing to challenge a property tax exemption granted to Ashton Memorial, Inc., a corporation with real and personal property located within AURA’s revenue allocation area. Specifically, the issue was whether AURA was a “person aggrieved” under I.C. 63-511, and therefore, could appeal the grant of the exemption to the Idaho Board of Tax Appeals (BTA). The Supreme Concluded that AURA was an "person aggrieved" under the statute, therefore it affirmed the district court's decision. View "Ashton Urban Renewal v. Ashton Memorial" on Justia Law

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The Idaho State Tax Commission appealed a district court judgment which held that PacifiCorp, an Oregon corporation, proved by a preponderance of the evidence that the Commission's valuation of its taxable operating property in Idaho was erroneous pursuant to I.C. 63-409(2). The Commission contended on appeal that the district court's decision was not supported by substantial and competent evidence because the appraisal methodologies utilized by PacifiCorp's appraiser are so unreliable as to amount to incompetent evidence. Because the district court's judgment was not clearly erroneous and was supported by substantial and competent evidence, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's judgment. View "PacificCorp V. Idaho State Tax Commission" on Justia Law

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The issue before the Supreme Court in this case was whether an agricultural exemption for real property taxes was not available to Petitioner-Appellant Thompson Development, LLC because agricultural use of the property in question would violate a local zoning ordinance. Because the Supreme Court found that the zoning ordinance was irrelevant to qualifying for the exemption, the Court vacated the district court's judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings. View "Thompson Development v. Latah Co Bd of Equalization" on Justia Law

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Petitioner-Appellant Philip Hart appealed two State Tax Commission Notice of Deficiency determinations to the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA). The BTA found Petitioner's appeal untimely and dismissed it. Petitioner then appealed to the district court who likewise found the appeal untimely and dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. Upon review, the Supreme Court agreed with both the district court and the BTA, and dismissed Petitioner's appeal. View "Hart v. Idaho Tax Commission" on Justia Law

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Appellants Ismael Chavez and Dolores Mercado (collectively Chavez) appealed the district court's granting their petition for judicial review, claiming that their original complaint should not have been converted into a petition for judicial review. Canyon County cross-appealed the district court's decision that the flat fee included on the County's notice of pending issue of tax deed was in violation of I.C. 63-1005(4)(d) requiring an itemized statement. In 2009, Chavez filed a class action complaint seeking a declaratory judgment and damages. Chavez alleged that Canyon County had violated a requirement in Idaho Code section 63-1005(4)(d) for an itemized statement of all costs and fees in its notice prior to an issuance of treasurer's tax deeds on two parcels of land they owned. In its Notice of Pending Issue of Tax Deed on the two parcels, the County charged a $500 flat fee for administration costs. In 2010, upon a motion for summary judgment, the district court denied the motion and found Chavez had failed to follow the proper procedures. The court allowed Chavez fourteen days to file the required Petition for Judicial Review. In its review, the Supreme Court held that the district court improperly converted Chavez's declaratory action into a petition for judicial review and was without jurisdiction to rule on the petition for judicial review. Furthermore, the Court declared the notices of pending issue of tax deed to be deficient and void and the corresponding fee was found as moot.

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The City of Lewiston (City) enacted "Ordinance No. 4512" that created a stormwater utility and fee for the operation and maintenance of the its stormwater system. Five government entities (Entities) subject to the stormwater fee brought suit seeking a declaratory judgment that the fee was an unconstitutional tax requiring authorization by the Legislature. The Entities thereafter filed a motion for summary judgment. The City filed its cross-motion for summary judgment asserting that the stormwater fee was authorized pursuant to the City’s police powers, the Revenue Bond Act, the Local Improvement District Code, and various other provisions of the Idaho Code. Relying primarily on "Brewster v. City of Pocatello," (768 P.2d 765 (1988)), and finding no legislative authorization for the stormwater fee, the district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Entities, holding that the stormwater fee was an unconstitutional tax. The City filed an appeal of the district court's decision. Because the Supreme Court concluded that stormwater fee was an unauthorized tax, it held that the district court did not err in granting summary judgment in favor of the Entities.