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Appellee-taxpayers Westrec Properties, Inc. (Sunrise Cove & Snug Harbor Marinas), PS Recreational Properties, I. (Holiday Marina), Chattahoochee Parks, Inc. (Aqualand Marina), March First, Inc. (Gainesville Marina), and AMP III – Lazy Days, LLC (Lazy Days Marina) operated marinas on Lake Lanier in Hall County. The marinas were located on shoreline property leased from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers. For the 2015 tax year, the Board revised its real property tax assessments to include the assessed value of docks and other improvements as part of the leasehold interest instead of personalty, as in previous years. This increased the assessed value substantially: according to the taxpayers, between 345 and 3200 percent. The taxpayers appealed to the Board of Equalization. After hearings to determine the fair market value of the taxpayers’ property, the Board of Equalization upheld the assessments. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of appellee taxpayers based upon the Board’s failure to schedule a timely settlement conference as required by the 2015 amendment to OCGA 48-5-311 (g) (2), 2015 Ga. Laws p. 1219 et seq. (“the Act”), and the Board appealed. Because the plain language of the statute, as amended by the Act, required the Board to schedule and notice a settlement conference with the taxpayer within 45 days of receipt of a taxpayer’s notice of appeal, and provided that the appeal would terminate in the event the Board elected not to do so, the Georgia Supreme Court affirmed. View "Hall County Board of Tax Assessors v. Westrec Properties, Inc." on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court reversed the decision of the district court reversing the Iowa Department of Economic Development’s (IDED) decision (the 2016 action) to revoke tax credits that had previously been awarded by IDED to Ghost Player, LLC (the 2012 action). On appeal, IDED argued that the district court erred in ruling that the 2016 action revoking the tax credits was an invalid collateral attack on the agency’s 2012 action and was barred under the doctrine of claim preclusion. The Supreme Court agreed, holding that the IDED’s decision to award tax credits to Ghost Player in the 2012 action was not entitled to preclusive effect that would prohibit IDED from attempting to revoke those tax credits in light of the discovery of fraud. View "Ghost Player, LLC v. Iowa Department of Economic Development" on Justia Law

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The Fifth Circuit affirmed the trial court's conclusion that the $19 million given to petitioner to invest was not a tax-free loan. The court affirmed the trial court's finding that the money became income to petitioner when he diverted it for his personal use, because he was realizing an economic benefit from the money; affirmed the tax court's imposition of penalties resulting from negligence or disregard of rules or regulations, because petitioner failed to show the complete disclosure of relevant facts to his accountants that would compel a good faith defense of reliance; and affirmed the tax court's decision allowing the IRS to recompute the amount of the deficiency after the tax court ruled that all the money was income to petitioner, as oppose to petitioner's corporation. View "Sun v. Commissioner" on Justia Law

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Because the text of I.R.C. 6630(d)(1) conditions the tax court’s jurisdiction on the timely filing of a petition for review, the thirty-day deadline in I.R.C. 6330(d)(1) is jurisdictional. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the tax court's dismissal of a petition for review of two Internal Revenue Service Notices of Determination based on lack of jurisdiction. In this case, petitioner mistakenly counted the first day after the date of the IRS's notices as day "zero" for purposes of calculating the 30-day period for filing a petition for review. The panel held that petitioner's failure to meet his deadline divested the tax court of the power to hear his case and foreclosed any argument for equitable tolling. View "Duggan v. CIR" on Justia Law

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Wilson was the Director, Chairman of the Board, President, and CEO of Imperial, which acquired e-Bio, which ran a fraud scheme, "Alchemy." It involved purchasing biodiesel from a third party and reselling it as though it had been produced by e-Bio, to take advantage of government incentives for renewable-energy production without expending production costs. Wilson was convicted of 21 counts: fraud in connection with the purchase or sale of securities, 15 U.S.C. 78j(b) and 78ff; fraud in the offer or sale of securities, 15 U.S.C. 77q(a) and 77x, and 18 U.S.C. 2; material false statements in required SEC filings, 15 U.S.C. 78ff and 18 U.S.C. 2; wrongful certification of annual and quarterly reports by a corporate officer, 18 U.S.C. 1350(c)(1); material false statements by a corporate officer to an accountant, 15 U.S.C. 78m(b)(5) and 78ff, and 18 U.S.C. 2; and false statements to government investigators, of 18 U.S.C. 1001. The dcourt sentenced Wilson to 120 months’ imprisonment and to pay $16,468,769.73 in restitution. The Seventh Circuit affirmed. None of Wilson’s contentions reach the high threshold of showing that a reasonable jury could not have found him guilty. Viewed in the light most favorable to the prosecution, the evidence adequately supports the jury’s finding that Wilson knowingly and willfully made false statements to investors, regulators, an outside accountant, and government agents, and the reasonable inference that Wilson participated in “Alchemy.” View "United States v. Wilson" on Justia Law

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The Town of Bow (town) appealed a superior court order granting plaintiff Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH) an abatement of taxes on its property in the town for tax years 2012 and 2013. PSNH owns certain special-purpose utility property in the town, including Merrimack Station, two combustion turbines, and a high-voltage regional electric transmission and distribution network. Merrimack Station consists of two coal-fired units that produce steam to rotate turbines and generators to produce electricity. The combustion turbines cannot be remotely turned on and, instead, must be physically turned on in a control room at the Merrimack Station site. At trial, the sole issue was the determination of the proper value of this special-purpose utility property for the tax years in question. Following a six-day bench trial, the trial court found PSNH's expert “testimony [to be] more credible than” the town's and, therefore, ruled that PSNH had met its burden of demonstrating that it was entitled to an abatement for tax years 2012 and 2013 with respect to the disputed property. The town moved for reconsideration, which the court denied, and this appeal followed. Finding no reversible error, the New Hampshire Supreme Court affirmed the superior court's judgment. View "Public Service Company of New Hampshire v. Town of Bow" on Justia Law

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At issue was whether the court of appeals erred in concluding that the City of Milwaukee complied with Wis. Stat. 70.32(1) in its tax assessment of property owned by Metropolitan Associates. Also on appeal, Metropolitan asked the Supreme Court to substitute the court’s judgment for the circuit court’s judgment regarding the credibility of witnesses and the relative weights to assign to various pieces of evidence. The Supreme Court held (1) the City’s assessment of Metropolitan’s property complied with the statute; (2) the circuit court’s findings of fact regarding the reliability of respective appraisals were not clearly erroneous; and (3) the circuit court’s findings were sufficient to support its determination regardless of whether the presumption of correctness was employed. View "Metropolitan Associates v. City of Milwaukee" on Justia Law

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The 36-unit North Canton apartment complex went into foreclosure.The lender obtained a judgment of $1,700,000. There were no bids at a sheriff’s sale with a minimum bid of $1,400,000. The receiver marketed the property through a national brojkerage firm, which, in a mass-mailing flyer showed a price of $1,325,000. The marketing materials did not mention the sheriff’s sale. There were 17 inquiries and at least six offers to purchase, ranging from $820,000 to $1,200,000, from LFG. There was no relationship between LFG and the receiver or the former owner. The court approved a sale as “commercially reasonable.” Title transferred to LFG in 2011. LFG sought to reduce the property’s tax-year-2012 valuation from $1,841,300 to $1,200,000. The Board of Education filed a counter-complaint. The board relied on “strong testimony” by LFG and “good evidence” that the property was marketed over time and that the price represented fair market value. The Board of Tax Appeals reinstated the auditor’s valuation. The Supreme Court of Ohio reversed, with the instruction that the $1,200,000 sale price be used as the property’s true value for tax purposes. Under the “forced sale” provision of R.C. 5713.04, a forced sale gives rise to a rebuttable presumption that the sale price is not the true value. In this case, the presumption was rebutted by ncontradicted evidence that the transaction at issue was at arms length. View "North Canton City School District Board of Education v. Stark County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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Notestine, a nonprofit corporation with 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) status as a charitable institution, owns the 11-unit residential rental property developed as low-income housing under 12 U.S.C. 1701q. Construction costs were $1.5 million. The federal capital advance was $1.3 million. The “project rental assistance” contract requires tenants to be at least 62 years old and have income under 50 percent of the area median. Rent is tied to tenant income at $407 per month, including utilities, with any overage payable to HUD. Tenants pay up to 30 percent of their adjusted gross income on rent, with HUD subsidizing any difference. Capital Advance Program Use and Regulatory Agreements were recorded on title, in effect at least 40 years from 2013, unless released by HUD. An auditor valued the property at $811,120 for 2013, a Logan County reappraisal year. Notestine sought a reduction, arguing that the building's value was $165,000, based on actual rent and expenses. The Board of Tax Appeals adopted the opinion of Notestine’s appraiser, who valued the property at $75,000. The Supreme Court of Ohio affirmed. Although market rents and expenses constitute a “rule” when valuing low-income government housing generally, that rule is presumptive, not conclusive. In this case, the rents are minimal, and federal subsidization is strictly controlled by HUD-imposed restrictions on the accumulation of surpluses. There is no evidence that any adjustment from contract rent to market rent would eliminate the “affirmative value” of government subsidies. View "Notestine Manor, Inc. v. Logan County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In a memorandum opinion, the Delaware Court of Chancery held that the Stock Purchase Agreement allowed Vestcom to claim the full amount of the transaction tax deductions (TTDs) pre-closing. The TTDs in this case arose from the sale of a manufacturer of retail shelving labels between sophisticated financial actors. After reviewing the evidence presented at trial, the court held that the Agreement allowed only one objectively reasonable meaning, namely that Vestcom was free to claim 100% of the TTDs to reduce pre-closing taxable income, but VPH would have to remit 50% of the value of any post-closing refunds or reductions in taxable income to LSVC. View "LSVC Holdings, LLC v. Vestcom Parent Holdings, Inc." on Justia Law