Articles Posted in Supreme Court of Ohio

by
The Supreme Court vacated the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) affirming the Franklin County Board of Revision’s (BOR) reduced valuation of a residential property in the amount of $65,000 for tax year 2011. The Franklin County auditor assigned a true value of $113,000 for tax year 2011. The owner filed a complaint seeking a reduction. The BOR reduced the property’s value to $65,000. The BTA upheld the BOR’s determination of value as sufficiently supported by the record. The Supreme Court remanded the matter to the BTA, holding that the BTA failed to evaluate independently the evidence to determine the value of the subject property. View "South-Western City School District Board of Education v. Franklin County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the Board of Tax Appeals’ (BTA) decision on remand adopting the appraisal valuation of the property owner’s appraiser for the second time. The property at issue was a vacant 22.27-acre parcel that the Delaware County auditor valued at $654,100 for tax year 2011. The property owner challenged the valuation and presented an appraisal determining a value of $580,000 for the property. The Delaware County Board of Revision (BOR) ordered a reduction to $580,000 after adopting the appraisal. The BTA affirmed the adoption of the appraisal. The Supreme Court issued a remand order based on the parties’ stipulation that the BTA should address certain issues. On remand, the BTA addressed those issues and again relied on the appraisal of the property owner’s appraiser. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the BTA acted reasonably and lawfully when it relied on the appraisal. View "Olentangy Local Schools Bd. of Education v. Delaware County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

by
The railroad that held land within a territory proposed for annexation had a railroad right-of-way held in fee, and therefore, the railroad fell within the exception to the definition of “owner” set forth in Ohio Rev. Code 709.02(E). Consequently, the railroad was not a required signatory to the annexation petition at issue in this case. The court of appeals dismissed a complaint for a writ of mandamus filed by National Lime and Stone Company seeking to compel the Marion County Board of Commissioners to approve a petition for annexation. The court of appeals concluded that Norfolk Southern Railway was an “owner” of real property in the territory proposed for annexation and, therefore, needed to consent to the annexation. The Supreme Court reversed and issued a writ of mandamus compelling the Board of Commissioners to approve the petition for annexation, holding that Norfolk’s signature was not required on National Lime’s petition for annexation and that National Lime had satisfied each of the statutory conditions for annexation. View "State ex rel. National Lime & Stone Co. v. Marion County Board of Commissioners" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court vacated the judgment of the Board of Tax Appeals (BTA) in this case disputing the valuation of real property retained by an owner after it sold a portion of its property during the tax year at issue and remanded the cause for the BTA to properly determine the value of the subject property. In 2009, the owner of the original parcel conveyed a single condominium unit for the Delaware County Board of County Commissioners for $2 million. For tax year 2009, the Delaware County auditor valued the conveyed parcel at $622,100 and the retained parcel at $1,677,900, for a total value of $2,300,000. The owner argued that the conveyed parcel’s 2009 value must be $2 million, leaving $300,000 as the value of its retained parcel. The Delaware County Board of Revision (BOR) agreed. The BTA reversed and reinstated the auditor’s valuation. The Supreme Court vacated the BTA’s decision, holding (1) the BTA’s finding that the sale was not recent to the tax-lien date was reasonable and lawful; but (2) the BTA improperly reinstated the auditor’s valuation because that valuation incorrectly apportioned 2.815 acres of condominium property to the retained parcel. View "Olentangy Local Schools Board of Education v. Delaware County Board of Revision" on Justia Law

by
The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ denial of Appellant’s complaint for a writ of prohibition against Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court Judge Richard McMonagle, holding that the jurisdictional-priority rule has no applicability when the cases at issue are pending in the same court. Appellant, Consortium for Economic and Community Development for Hough Ward 7, owned real property (“the parcel”) in Cuyahoga County that was adjacent to property owned by the Oak Leadership Institute. Oak Leadership filed an action in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to quiet title to the parcel. Thereafter, a tax foreclosure suit relating to the parcel was filed in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court. Appellant sought a writ of prohibition against Judge McMonagle, arguing that, even though the quiet-title lawsuit was filed first, the foreclosure lawsuit had jurisdiction priority because it first perfected service of process over all the interested parties. The court of appeals denied the writ, thus rejecting Appellant’s theory of jurisdictional priority. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the jurisdictional-priority rule has no applicability when the cases are pending in the same court. View "State ex rel. Consortium for Economic & Community Development For Hough Ward 7 v. Russo" on Justia Law

by
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

by
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

by
The Supreme Court granted in part a writ of prohibition requested by Relators - Rocky Ridge Development, LLC and Stanley Industries, Inc. - against common laws court judge Bruce Winters after Judge Winters issued a temporary restraining order against Relators enjoining them from operating in Benton Township until “they are in compliance with the Benton Township Zoning Resolution and the laws of the State of Ohio.” Benton Township had filed a compliant for declaratory and injunctive relief against Relators, alleging that the companies were violating the terms of a Land Application Management Plan (LAMP), were in violation of local zoning ordinances and state law, and were creating a public nuisance. The Supreme Court (1) granted a limited writ of prohibition to prevent the judge from deciding any issues that properly belong to the Environmental Review Appeals Commission, such as the wisdom or propriety of issuing the LAMP or Rocky Ridge’s compliance with the LAMP; but (2) denied the writ as to all claims involving alleged violations of Benton Township’s local ordinances or allegations that Rocky Ridge’s operations were creating a public nuisance. View "State ex rel. Rocky Ridge, LLC v. Winters" on Justia Law

by
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

by
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