Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

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The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) acted reasonably and lawfully in applying collateral estoppel to Appellant’s continuing complaint for tax years 2013 and 2014. Appellant, the owner of the real property at issue in this case, filed an original complaint for tax year 2012, asserting that the purchase price constituted the property’s true value. The county board of revision (BOR) and the BTA retained the fiscal officer’s valuation, concluding that the sale was not at arm’s length. Appellant then invoked the BOR’s continuing-complaint jurisdiction for tax years 2013 and 2014. The BOR retained the original value for tax years 2013 and 2014. On appeal, the BTA held that the doctrine of collateral estoppel applied, barring Appellant from relitigating the arm’s-length-sale issue on the continuing complaint. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA properly applied collateral estoppel. View "Julia Realty, Ltd. 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 affirming the decision of the tax commissioner finding that Ohio Rev. Code 5709.911 subordinated a property’s original tax increment financing (TIF) exemption to the public-worship exemption from taxation. The Fairfield Township Board of Trustees filed a complaint against the continued exemption from taxation as a house of public worship, claiming that by granting the property owner the public-worship exemption and by continuing the exemption, the tax commissioner unlawfully relieved the church of its payment obligations as the owner of property subject to a recorded covenant. The covenant in question related to a TIF agreement entered into between the Township and a previous owner of the church property. The tax commissioner rejected the Township’s agreement, and the Board of Tax Appeals affirmed. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) by dictating that TIF exemptions be subordinated to other exemptions, section 5709.911 barred the enforcement of the real covenant with respect to service payments; and (2) the Township lacked standing to raise its constitutional challenge to section 5709.911. View "Fairfield Township Board of Trustees v. Testa" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals dismissing, sua sponte, Appellant’s complaint for a writ of mandamus filed against George Kral, Chief of Police of the Toledo police department. In his complaint, Appellant alleged that a county court of common pleas judge granted his motion for the return from the Toledo police department of $324 belonging to him and that, rather than comply with the order, the police department deposited the money into the county treasury. The court of appeals dismissed Appellant’s complaint seeking a writ of mandamus compelling Chief Kral and the police department to return the $324 and to award Appellant compensatory and punitive damages. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant failed to state a claim in mandamus. View "State ex rel. Johnson v. Kral" on Justia Law

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The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) valuing Appellant’s property in accordance with a sale price and determining that Appellant’s appraisal evidence did not negate the presumption that the sale was characteristic of true value. For tax year 2011, the Franklin County auditor valued one of Appellant’s parcels of property at $132,700 and the second parcel at $1,717,300, for a total valuation of $1,850,000. The Franklin County Board of Revision (BOR) assigned a total value to the subject property of $1,602,700 for tax years 2011, 2012, and 2013, thus rejecting the Hilliard City Schools Board of Education’s (BOE) argument that a 2009 sale price established the property’s value. The BTA determined that the property’s value should be a total of $2,313,490 for tax years 2011, 2012, and 2013, finding that the sale price presumptively established the subject property’s value and that Appellant had failed to rebut that presumption by showing that the sale was not a recent arm’s-length transaction. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that Appellant did not bear its burden at the BTA to negate the sale price as the criterion of value. View "Hilliard City Schools Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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The Lorain County Board of Revision (BOR) had continuing-complaint jurisdiction to determine the value of a property for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014 and therefore, the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) erred in refusing to exercise jurisdiction over tax year 2014. Appellant sought a reduction from the value determined by the Lorain County auditor for the three years at issue by asserting a continuing complaint. Appellant predicated its claim on its originally filed complaint, which had challenged the property valuation for tax year 2009. That complaint was finally determined in 2014. Appellant’s continuing complaint sought to apply the same value determined in that case to 2012, 2013, and 2014. The BOR retained the auditor’s valuation. The BTA adopted Appellant’s appraiser’s valuation of $750,000 for 2012 and 2013 but concluded that it lacked jurisdiction to determine the value for tax year 2014. Specifically, the BTA found that the BOR lacked jurisdiction over tax year 2014 because a proper complaint was not filed for that tax year. The Supreme Court reversed, holding (1) the BOR had jurisdiction to determine the property’s value for tax years 2012, 2013, and 2014; and (2) an aggregate value of $750,000 shall be assigned to the property for all three tax years. View "Novita Industries, LLC v. Lorain County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In this real-property-valuation case, the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) finding that the appraisal report presented by the Washington County Board of Revision and Washington County auditor (collectively, the County) constituted the most competent and probative evidence of the value of the subject property for tax year 2013. The BTA relied on the County’s report to value a property owned by Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc./Lowe’s Home Centers, LLC (collectively, Lowe’s), even though Lowe’s presented its own appraisal report. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision, holding (1) the Court’s decisions in Steak ’N Shake, Inc. v. Warrant County Board of Revision, 48 N.E.3d 535 (Ohio 2015), Rite Aid of Ohio, Inc. v. Washington County Board of Revision, 54 N.E.3d 1177 (Ohio 2016), and Lowe’s Home Centers, Inc. v. Washington County Board of Revision, 49 N.E.3d 1266 (Ohio 2016), provide the proper guideposts for resolving this controversy; and (2) because the BTA had yet to evaluate the evidence in light of the legal standards articulated in these three decisions, the case must be remanded for further proceedings. View "Lowe's Home Centers, Inc. v. Washington County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In this real property valuation case involving tax year 2012, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) adopting the Franklin County Board of Revision’s (BOR) rejection of the sale price of the property at issue as the criterion of value and instead retaining the county auditor’s valuation. On appeal, the BTA found that the sale was too remote in relation to the tax-lien date. The Supreme Court remanded the case with instructions that the BTA use the sale price to value the property for tax year 2012, holding that the BTA misapplied court precedent in determining that the sale was too remote. View "Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon of Ohio, Inc. v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In this real property valuation case involving tax year 2012, the Supreme Court reversed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) adopting the Franklin County Board of Revision’s (BOR) rejection of the sale price of the property at issue as the criterion of value and instead retaining the county auditor’s valuation. On appeal, the BTA found that the sale was too remote in relation to the tax-lien date. The Supreme Court remanded the case with instructions that the BTA use the sale price to value the property for tax year 2012, holding that the BTA misapplied court precedent in determining that the sale was too remote. View "Lone Star Steakhouse & Saloon of Ohio, Inc. v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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At issue in this valuation case was the 2011 value, with carryover to 2012 and 2013, of a nursing home that was purchased by its former lessee in April 2011 and to what extent the sale price ought to have been allocated to assets other than the real estate. The Board of Revision (BOR) ordered a small reduction in value to $7,202,900 after making a small deduction for furniture, fixtures, and equipment. The Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) reinstated the entire sale price of $7,490,000 as the value of the real estate. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision and remanded the case for further proceedings, holding that the BTA neglected to exercise its statutory authority to obtain a complete record and predicated its decision in part on legal errors. View "Arbors East RE, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

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In this challenge to the real property valuation of a Walgreens drugstore in Lancaster for tax year 2014 the Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) disregarding the property owners’ appraisal and valuing the property according to a recent arm’s-length sale price. Here, as in Terraza 8, LLC v. Franklin County Board of Revision, 83 N.E.3d 916, the school board sought to have the real property valued according to the sale price, while the owners, relying on appraisal evidence, argued that under Ohio Rev. Code 5713.03, as amended by 2012 Am.Sub.H.B. No. 487 (“H.B. 487”), a lease encumbrance precluded use of the sale price to value the property. The Supreme Court remanded the case to the BTA to weigh and address the appraisal evidence, holding that this appeal presented a straightforward application of Terraza. In other words, the recent sale presumptively represented the value of the unencumbered fee simple estate, but the BTA must also weigh the appraisal evidence. View "Bronx Park South III Lancaster, LLC v. Fairfield County Board of Revision" on Justia Law