Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the tax commissioner’s denial of 2350 Morse LLC’s application for tax exemption of real property leased to a community school, holding that the BTA unreasonably ignored evidence of 2350 Morse’s intent in leasing the property. Morse sought an exemption for the property for tax year 2010 under both Ohio Rev. Code 5709.07 and 5709.121. The commissioner decided that 2350 Morse was not entitled to an exemption because the property had been leased “with a view to profit” for purposes of former section 5709.07(A)(1). The BTA affirmed. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that no reasonable reading of the record could support a finding that 2350 Morse leased the property with a view to profit. View "2350 Morse, LLC v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that denied a tax exemption for real property leased to a community school. The tax commissioner determined that for tax years 2008 through 2010, because the property owner had collected “substantial market-rate rent,” the property was leased “with a view to profit” for purposes of former Ohio Rev. Code 5709.07(A)(1), and therefore, no exemption was available. The BTA affirmed on the basis that the school’s rental payments exceeded the lessor’s expenses under the lease. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision and remanded the case, holding (1) the key inquiry in determining whether property is lease with a view to profit focuses on the intention of the lessor; and (2) the BTA unreasonably ignored evidence of the lessor’s intent in this case. View "Breeze, Inc. v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) determining that a corporate executive’s supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP) was not subject to the city of Cleveland’s income tax. Upon retirement, the executive became entitled to receive benefits from the SERP, which was to be paid from an annuity over the court of his and his spouse’s lives. Cleveland sought to tax the present value of those future payments at the time of the retirement. The Supreme Court held that because a Cleveland ordinance exempts “pensions” from the city income tax and because the SERP constitutes a pension, the city income tax does not apply. View "MacDonald v. Cleveland Income Tax Board of Review" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA), which adopted $8,492,910 as the property value for a thirty-seven-acre parcel of real property for tax years 2011 through 2013. The BTA based its decision on the purchase price that Buckeye Terminals, LLC, the landowner, reported on a June 2011 conveyance fee statement. On appeal, Buckeye Terminals argued that the reported price did not accurately reflect the true value of the real property. The Supreme Court held that the BTA’s decision to retain the Board of Revision’s valuation for tax years 2011 through 2013, based solely on the June 2011 conveyance fee statement rather than an independent determination of the value of the property, was unreasonable and unlawful. View "Buckeye Terminals, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that adopted an allocated portion of a bulk-sale price as the property value for tax year 2011 for two parcels of property along the Ohio River. The owner of the property appealed, arguing that the BTA erred in not reducing the sale price by an amount that was contractually allocated to goodwill. The Supreme Court disagreed, holding (1) the landowner’s burden was to show a proper sale-price allocation; (2) the BTA reasonably applied the evidentiary standard; (3) the BTA reasonably rejected the landowner’s appraisal; and (4) the landowner failed to state a constitutional claim. View "Cincinnati School District Board of Education v. Hamilton County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that valued the land underlying the North Bank Condominiums in Franklin County for tax year 2013. The BTA adopted the value found in an appraisal report submitted by the Columbus City Schools Board of Education (BOE). The unit owners appealed, arguing that the BTA should have adopted the land value in their appraisal report rather than the higher value in the BOE’s appraisal report. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA did not abuse its discretion in finding the BOE’s appraisal to be more probative and in thus adopting the land value found in the BOE’s appraisal. View "NWD 300 Spring, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that increased the tax value of property owned by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company. On appeal, State Farm challenged the BTA’s reliance on a November 2013 sale price in ordering an increase from the $14,000,000 value adopted by the BTA for tax year 2011 to $25,092,330 for tax year 2012. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the 2013 sale price was not indicative of value because it was not at arm’s length for purposes of determining property value. The court then ordered that the Board of Revision’s value of $14,000,000 be reinstated for tax year 2012. View "Columbus City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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West Carrollton City Schools Board of Education (BOE) appealed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) that retained the auditor’s update-year valuation of $4,716,690 for 2011 for the two contiguous parcels of property at issue in this case. Specifically, the BOE argued, inter alia, that the BTA acted unreasonably and unlawfully by refusing either to rely on the land-sale price and actual-cost evidence to value to the property. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) Ohio Rev. Code barred the direct use of the land-sale price in Carmax Auto Superstores, Inc.’s 2008 acquisition of the property because Carmax spent more than $7 million on subsequently added improvements; and (2) neither the 2008 land-sale price nor the actual construction costs affirmatively negated the auditor’s valuation, and therefore, the BTA acquired no duty to perform an independent valuation. View "West Carrollton City Schools Board of Education v. Montgomery County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) upheld the tax commissioner’s denial of a property tax exemption for Appellant’s four dialysis-service centers for tax year 2007 and the denial of Appellant’s requested remission of the property taxes it paid for those facilities for tax year 2006. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the BTA as to tax year 2006 and reversed it as to tax year 2007, holding that remission was properly denied for tax year 2006, but for tax year 2007, Appellant’s use of space at the four centers qualified for exemption. Because some of the space listed in the facilities was leased to private physicians, the properties should be split-listed, with a portion taxable and the dialysis-service facilities exempt. View "Dialysis Centers of Dayton, LLC v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The former owner of the subject property at issue in this case filed a valuation complaint in 2006 seeking to reduce the property’s tax-year-2005 value. The Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR) lowered the value but failed to send that notice to the Groveport Madison Local Schools Board of Education (BOE) at the time. When no appeal was timely filed, a refund was issued to a prior owner, and the case was closed. NSCO International Investment, LLC subsequently acquired the property. More than four years later, the BOE appealed, citing its lack of notice as the reason for its delay. The BOR made no effort to notify NSCO of the appeal. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reinstated the auditor’s valuation. Two years after the BTA decision, NSCO asked the BTA to vacate its decision and schedule a new hearing because it had not been given notice or an opportunity to be heard. the BTA denied NSCO’s motion to vacate. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the BTA lacked jurisdiction to vacate its decision after the time to appeal that decision had passed; and (2) the BTA complied with Ohio Rev. Code 5717.03(B) by sending a copy of its decision to NSCO’s tax mailing address. View "Groveport Madison Local Schools Bd. of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law