ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER:    ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT:
STEPHEN E. DEVOE    STEVE CARTER    
B. KEITH SHAKE    ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIANA
HENDERSON DAILY WITHROW    Indianapolis, IN
& DEVOE     
Indianapolis, IN     TED J. HOLADAY
    DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
    Indianapolis, IN
    

_____________________________________________________________________

    IN THE INDIANA TAX COURT _____________________________________________________________________

INDIANAPOLIS RACQUET CLUB, INC.,                                          )
                                                                               )
    Petitioner,                                                                )
                                                                               )
    v.                                                                         )   Cause No. 49T10-0206-TA-60
                                                                               )
WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP                                                            )              
(MARION COUNTY                                                                 ) ASSESSOR,         )
                                                                               )
    Respondent.                                                                )    
 _____________________________________________________________________
     
                                                 

ON APPEAL FROM A FINAL DETERMINATION OF
THE INDIANA BOARD OF TAX REVIEW


NOT FOR PUBLICATION
February 6, 2004


FISHER, J.

    The Petitioner, Indianapolis Racquet Club, Inc. (IRC), appeals from a final determination of the Indiana Board of Tax Review (Indiana Board) valuing its real property for the 1989 assessment year. IRC claims that the Indiana Board made numerous errors when, on remand, it applied the General Commercial Industrial (GCI) light warehouse model base rate to its tennis facility. The Court restates IRC’s issues as:
I.     Whether the Indiana Board erred in its failure to adjust IRC’s base rate so as to reflect the absence of certain features presumed in the GCI light warehouse model;

II.     Whether the Indiana Board erred in its failure to adjust the grade factor assigned to IRC’s improvement; and

III.    Whether the Indiana Board erred in its failure to adjust the physical depreciation factor assigned to IRC’s improvement.
    

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

    IRC owns and operates a commercial tennis club in Washington Township, Marion County, Indiana. IRC’s facility consists of 24 tennis courts (both indoor and outdoor), a lobby, pro-shop, locker rooms, and various office and retail areas.
    In the early 1990’s, IRC appealed its 1989 assessment to the State Board of Tax Commissioners (State Board). In its appeal, IRC claimed, among other things, that the base rate for its indoor tennis facility was incorrectly determined using the General Commercial Mercantile (GCM) health club model. IRC argued that its improvement should have been valued using the GCI light warehouse model. The State Board denied IRC’s claim.
    IRC subsequently filed an original tax appeal. This Court, after conducting a trial, issued a decision in which it recognized that IRC had submitted evidence showing how the features of its tennis facility were dissimilar to those presumed in the GCM health club model, as well as how its facility’s features compared with those presumed in the GCI light warehouse model. See Indianapolis Racquet Club, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 722 N.E.2d 926, 938-39 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2000), rev’d on other grounds by 743 N.E.2d 247 (Ind. 2001). Consequently, the Court ruled that,
the evidence shows that the tennis facility’s features clearly better match those of the light warehouse model than those of the health club model. Therefore, the Court concludes that IRC has carried its burden to show that the State Board abused its discretion by applying the wrong model in assessing the tennis facility.

Id. at 939. The Court subsequently remanded the matter for the State Board to “apply the model that most closely resembles the physical structure of the tennis facility . . . and [to] recalculate the facility’s reproduction costs based upon that model.” Id. at 941. In so doing, however, the Court stated:
[IRC] is reminded that, on remand, it bears the burden of going forward with probative evidence . . . concerning the appropriate model to use in calculating the base rate for the . . . indoor tennis facility at issue, including but not limited to evidence regarding the proper grade to be assigned [to] the subject improvement.

Id. (internal citation and footnote omitted).
    On August 16, 2001, the State Board conducted a remand hearing. On April 17, 2002, the Indiana Board See footnote issued a final determination in which it applied the GCI light warehouse model base rate to IRC’s building.
IRC filed another appeal with this Court on June 3, 2002, claiming that when the Indiana Board applied the GCI light warehouse model base rate to its building, it was required to make several adjustments to the base rate to account for the fact that the building lacked certain features presumed in that model. The Court heard the parties’ oral arguments on October 27, 2003. Additional facts will be supplied as necessary.

STANDARD OF REVIEW

This Court gives great deference to final determinations of the Indiana Board. Wittenberg Lutheran Vill. Endowment Corp. v. Lake County Prop. Tax Assessment Bd. of Appeals, 782 N.E.2d 483, 486 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2003), review denied. Consequently, the Court may reverse a final determination of the Indiana Board only if it is:
(1)    arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law;

contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity;

(3)    in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations;

(4)    without observance of procedure required by law; or
(5)    unsupported by substantial or reliable evidence.
Ind. Code § 33-3-5-14.8(e)(1)-(5) (West Supp. 2003). The party seeking to overturn the Indiana Board’s final determination bears the burden of proving its invalidity. Osolo Township Assessor v. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., L.P., 789 N.E.2d 109, 111 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2003).

DISCUSSION

     IRC maintains that when, on remand, the Indiana Board applied the GCI light warehouse model base rate to its improvement, it failed to make certain, required adjustments to that base rate. More specifically, IRC explains that, pursuant to the assessment regulations in effect for the 1989 assessment, the GCI light warehouse model presumed the presence of concrete floor slabs, interior walls and partitioning, and a certain type of lighting. (See Pet’r Br. at 8-11.) IRC asserts that because its improvement lacks these features, the Indiana Board was required to adjust the GCI light warehouse model base rate accordingly. In addition, IRC maintains that the Indiana Board was also required to adjust the improvement’s assigned grade factor, as well as its physical depreciation factor.
I. Base Rate Adjustments

    Under Indiana’s true tax value system of property tax assessment, assessors use cost schedules to determine the base reproduction cost of a particular improvement. Whitley Prods., Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 704 N.E.2d 1113, 1116 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1998), review denied. See also Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-5 (1992). To help identify and define various classes of buildings, Indiana’s assessment regulations have categorized improvements into numerous models based upon their physical characteristics. See Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-7 (1992). See also Herb v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 656 N.E.2d 890, 893 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1995) (stating that “while the model names are reflective of use, the model specifications actually reflect the physical features that are incorporated into the structure”). In other words, the improvement models replicate the reproduction costs of any given structure by assuming the presence of certain construction elements. See Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-3(a) (1992). The assessment regulations provide that the GCI light warehouse model presumes the following construction elements:


MODEL: GCI—LIGHT WAREHOUSE—First [Floor]

Foundation:    12” reinforced concrete perimeter grade walls to 2’6” high on 12” x 18” strip footings including trench excavation and back-fill
Walls:
    Type 1:    Reinforced concrete block with two coats masonry paint for a wall height of 18’
    Type 2:    Common brick on concrete block backup for a wall height of 18’
Openings    1% 1 ¾” hollow metal service doors
        4% overhead doors
Mechanical and Interior Components
    Type:    Unfinished, 18’ floor height
Interior Finish
    Partitions    8” hollow concrete block painted one side with a density of 100 S.F. floor/L.F. partition to a floor height of 18’
    Lighting    200 Ampere service with panel board and feeders. Fixtures are fluorescent and include switches and receptacles.
    HTG Only    Gas fired, hot water boiler with unit heaters
        AC Add    Single zone electric cooling
50 IAC 2.1-4-7.
The assessment regulations also provide that when an improvement varies from the model, adjustments must be made to the base price to account for its variations. Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-3(c) (1992). These adjustments can generally be accomplished via an application of the assessment regulations’ unit-in-place cost tables. See Ind. Admin. Code, tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-10 (1992).
    As the party challenging the propriety of the Indiana Board’s final determination, IRC bears the burden of proving its invalidity. Elkhart Maple Lane Assocs., 789 N.E.2d at 111. Thus, to be entitled to a base rate adjustment, IRC must first submit probative evidence that its building does not contain construction elements listed in the GCI light warehouse model or that its building contains construction elements that are not listed in the models. See Barth, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 756 N.E.2d 1124, 1129 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2001). IRC then has the burden to ascertain the cost of each component based on the assessment regulations. See id.

A. Concrete Floor Slab

IRC testified at the remand hearing that its facility does not have a concrete floor slab; rather, its asphalt tennis courts were placed directly on a gravel base. (Cert. Admin. R. at 370.) See also Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-1 (1992) (stating that the horizontal costs of an improvement include costs for floor slabs); Ind. Admin. Code, tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-3(a) (1992) (stating that the cost of a first floor level incorporates the costs for site preparation, normal foundation construction, and a concrete ground floor slab including base and cement finish). Accordingly, IRC argued, a “significant adjustment[] [] should be made . . . because of the lack of th[is] feature[].” (Cert. Admin. R. at 370.) While the Indiana Board admits that IRC’s facility does not have a concrete floor slab (see Resp’t Br. at 6; Oral Argument Tr. at 31), it nonetheless denied the claim because IRC “failed to quantify the amount of any proposed adjustment[.]” (Cert. Admin. R. 95.)
During the remand hearing, IRC presented no evidence or argument indicating how much of an adjustment to which it believed it was entitled. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 348-433.) After the remand hearing, the Indiana Board hearing officer gave IRC a second opportunity to present evidence to support its claim. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 157.) IRC responded:
[IRC] is not aware of a cost factor specified by the [] Manual to be used for this concrete floor. While a concrete floor is common in this type of building, asphalt can sometimes be used as a cheaper substitute. Accordingly, [IRC] believes that a reasonable approach would be to use the cost figure for asphalt parking, namely $[0].90 per square foot. See footnote

(Cert. Admin. R. at 198.)
When a taxpayer challenges its assessment, it is required to make a detailed factual presentation, supported by probative evidence, relating to the alleged assessment error. Hoogenboom-Nofziger v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 715 N.E.2d 1018, 1023 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1999). IRC made no such presentation in this case. First, it made no reference to the unit-in-place tables See footnote to determine the cost to be deducted for the lack of a concrete floor slab. See 50 IAC 2.1-4-10 (stating that the use of the unit-in-place tables is the appropriate method to make an adjustment for the lack of a concrete floor slab). See also Barth, 756 N.E.2d at 1129 (stating that taxpayers like IRC bear the burden of ascertaining the cost of adjustment pursuant to the unit-in-place tables).
Furthermore, IRC provided no explanation as to why the $0.90 per square foot figure was the appropriate figure to use to calculate the amount of the adjustment. More specifically, the Court notes that the assessment regulations provide that 2” of asphalt paving on a 5” base is valued between $0.90 and $1.10 per square foot (depending on the total amount (i.e., square footage) of paving). See Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-5 (Schedule G) (1992). Consequently, IRC was required to do more than say “use the $0.90 figure.” Rather, it was required to present evidence indicating that its asphalt tennis courts were indeed 2” on a 5” base, as well as the total amount of paving (square footage) it had. It did neither. This Court will not now make IRC’s case for it. See Davidson Indus. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs, 744 N.E.2d 1067, 1071 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2001). Because IRC made no case, it receives no relief.
Nevertheless, IRC argues that this result should be different. First, it states that because the Indiana Board has been “designated by the legislature as a repository of the administrative expertise on [assessment] issue[s,]” it must be required to know, and apply, the assessment regulations as written. (See Oral Argument Tr. at 42; Pet’r Br. at 9.) As a result, IRC contends it is absurd to require it to submit evidence as to the proper amount of the adjustment when the Indiana Board, the State’s “property tax expert,” should have known what the proper adjustment was (i.e., “it’s their manual”) (See Oral Argument Tr. at 36.) Second, IRC argues that when this case was remanded, the Indiana Board was required to calculate a completely new assessment. Because IRC had no idea what that new assessment would be, it could not anticipate whether or not the Indiana Board would make an adjustment for the lack of a floor slab. (See Oral Argument Tr. at 39.) IRC asserts that because it could not have anticipated the error, it could not have borne the burden of proof in arguing against the error. (See Oral Argument Tr. at 42.)
While IRC considers it absurd that it must “instruct” the Indiana Board, Indiana’s “property tax expert,” as to the content of the assessment regulations, case law is explicit: a taxpayer, when challenging an assessment, must provide the Indiana Board with an argument and probative evidence to support its challenge. See North Park Cinemas, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 689 N.E.2d 765, 769 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1997) (stating that a party adversely affected by an assessment “has an obvious responsibility to . . . present evidence and argument in support of its position"). The reason for this standard is simple: it eliminates the possibility that the Indiana Board expends valuable time and resources building a taxpayer’s case for it. Indeed, “[i]f a taxpayer cares so little about its case that it does not make a strong factual case at the administrative level, why should the [Indiana] Board care any more than the taxpayer?” See Hoogenboom-Nofziger, 715 N.E.2d at 1023.
IRC was required to make a detailed factual presentation, supported by probative evidence, relating to the alleged assessment error to the Indiana Board. See id. Because IRC declined to do that, its claim for relief must be denied. See id. at 1024-25 (stating that to allow a taxpayer to prevail even though it did not meet its burden of proof is, among other things, “patently unfair to other taxpayers who do make detailed presentations”).
    In addition, IRC’s claim that it could not have possibly borne the burden of proof on remand is misguided. In its remand order, this Court explicitly stated that IRC bore the burden of proof. Indianapolis Racquet Club, 722 N.E.2d at 941 (emphasis added). Pursuant to this order, it was up to IRC, at the remand hearing, to present any issue, calculation, argument, or theory relevant to a proper calculation of its base rate. The Court cannot now allow IRC a second bite at the apple.

B. Interior Walls and Partitioning

IRC also claims that the Indiana Board was required to make an adjustment to the GCI light warehouse model base rate to reflect the fact that its facility does not have interior walls or partitioning. See 50 IAC 2.1-4-7 (describing the GCI light warehouse model partitioning specifications). The Court notes, however, that the Indiana Board did not address this issue in its final determination. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 80-101; Oral Argument Tr. at 33.) After reviewing the administrative record, this Court cannot say that the Indiana Board erred.
At the remand hearing, IRC testified that its facility does not have interior walls or partitioning. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 369.) IRC never stated at the remand hearing, however, that it wanted an adjustment to account for the lack of partitioning. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 348-433.) Furthermore, when the Indiana Board provided IRC with a second opportunity to present evidence to substantiate its various claims, IRC did not mention an adjustment for interior walls and partitioning. (Cert. Admin. R. at 196-201.) In fact, it appears from the record that IRC did not articulate a claim for this adjustment until it filed its brief with this Court on January 10, 2003 -- nearly a year and a half after the remand hearing.
This Court’s review of Indiana Board final determinations is narrow in scope: the Court reviews the administrative record to determine whether there is substantial evidence to support the Indiana Board’s final determination. See Ind. Code § 33-3-5-14.8(e) (West Supp. 2003). The Court will determine that an Indiana Board final determination is supported by substantial evidence if a reasonable person could view the record in its entirety and find enough relevant evidenceSee footnote to support the determination. IRC did not articulate its claim on this issue during the administrative process. Rather, IRC assumed that the Indiana Board would piece its testimony together with a request for relief. This was not, however, the Indiana Board’s responsibility. Consequently, the Court cannot say that the Indiana Board erred when it did not adjust IRC’s base rate to account for a lack of interior walls and partitioning. See footnote
C. Lighting

Finally, IRC claims that the Indiana Board erred when it failed to increase its base rate to account for the fact that its facility had “better” lighting than presumed in the GCI light warehouse model. To support its claim, Stephen DeVoe, IRC’s President and attorney, provided the following written statement to the Indiana Board:
With respect to tennis court lighting, I do not have a complete copy of the 1989 Manual. My recollection was that the lighting information was contained on the same page as the cost information for tennis courts. This is page 27 of the General Commercial and Industrial Cost Schedule, a copy of which I do have and have attached. Obviously, my recollection was incorrect. Further, the table of contents for this section of the manual does not show lighting as a separate item. If you were not to find an item covering this lighting, then my statement that the 1989 manual specifically covers these cost[s] is incorrect. However, the 1979 and the 1995 Manuals both have specific listings for tennis court lighting as part of the tennis court cost section[.]

For our indoor courts, there are 26 low cost fluorescent fixtures per court, each with 6 eight foot fluorescent tubes (we only use 4 at a time in order to be able to maintain constant lighting levels as tubes age). The 1979 Manual figures for tennis court lighting are based on pole lighting which is lower intensity than what we have and accordingly I believe these cost figures are much too low for our system. On the other hand I also believe the 1995 Manual figures are about 25% too high based on 1989 replacement costs so the cost recommended . . . for these lights is $3,825 for the first court and $3,600 for the other 15 courts, for a total of $57,825 (this is 75% of the 1995 Manual figures). [IRC] believes this cost should be included in the cost computation for the [facility].

On the other hand, these tennis court lights are the only lights in the area of the building occupied by the 16 indoor tennis courts, so [IRC] has argued that the normal lighting cost included in the standard per square foot base cost for these improvements should be deducted. I do not believe a cost for this adjustment is set forth in the 1979 Manual. [IRC] believes that a reasonable approach for determining the amount of this deduction would be to determine it by reference to the tennis court lighting costs noted above. For instance, the light levels on a good indoor tennis court are about twice the levels in good industrial work areas. Further, the type of fixtures and tubes are the same so [IRC] believes a consistent and fair deduction would be 50% of the court lighting cost used. If this approach is used, the net adjustment to the standard cost of the building for the lack of lighting in the tennis court area would be a decrease of $28,913 (50% of the $57,825 cost for the special tennis court lighting as noted above) or $[0].30 per square foot. See footnote

(Cert. Admin. R. at 196-97 (footnote added).)
    This written statement is confusing. Furthermore, DeVoe uses numbers from both the 1979 and 1995 assessment manuals to calculate a number applicable to the 1989 assessment. All this mathematical effort is irrelevant: the Indiana assessment regulations in effect for 1989 clearly state the range for such an adjustment is between $0.05 and $0.15 per square foot. See 50 IAC 2.1-4-5 (Schedule C). See footnote Thus, IRC is asking for a 30% increase in lighting assessment when the assessment regulations only allow for, at the most, 15%. The Court, finding that the administrative record does not support a $0.30 increase per square foot to account for IRC’s more abundant lighting, therefore AFFIRMS the Indiana Board’s final determination on this issue.

II. Grade Factor

The grading of improvements is an important part of Indiana’s property assessment system. Under that system, assessors apply various grades to improvements based on their design, workmanship, and quality of materials used in their construction. See Whitley Prods., 704 N.E.2d at 1116. See also Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-3(f) (1992). The grades represent multipliers that are applied to the subject improvement’s base reproduction cost. Whitley Prods., 704 N.E.2d at 1116.
IRC claims that the Indiana Board erred when it failed to adjust its improvement’s grade factor from 70% (C-1) to 50% (E+1). (Pet’r Br. at 14.) See also 50 IAC 2.1-4-5 (Schedule F). The Indiana Board claims that IRC is not entitled to a grade adjustment because “no evidence or discussion concerning the grade of the tennis facility [was presented].” (Cert. Admin. R. at 33.) The Court disagrees.
At the remand hearing, IRC presented evidence establishing that: 1) its improvement is a low-cost, pre-engineered metal building; 2) starting in 1991, the base rates of these types of buildings were reduced by 50% to account for their low-cost and the economical quality of material used in their construction (“kit building adjustment”); 3) in 1995, the “kit building adjustment” was incorporated into the assessment regulations under General Commercial Kit (GCK) Schedule pricing; and 4) starting in 1995, IRC’s improvement was priced under the GCK Schedule. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 371-75, 406.) See footnote Consequently, IRC established a prima facie case that it is entitled to a grade factor equivalent to the 50% kit building adjustment. See Bock Prods., Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 683 N.E.2d 1368, 1372 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1997) (stating that since allowances for a kit building adjustment were effective starting in 1991, for 1989 and 1990 an equivalent base rate reduction could be accomplished only through a grade reduction).
The Indiana Board failed to rebut IRC’s evidence on grade and support its findings with substantial evidence. See footnote See Hamstra Builders, Inc. v. Dep’t of Local Gov’t Fin., 783 N.E.2d 387, 390 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2003). Accordingly, the Indiana Board’s final determination on this issue is REVERSED.
III. Physical Depreciation Factor

Finally, IRC asserts that the 30-year life expectancy table (as opposed to the 40-year life expectancy table) should have been applied to its building for depreciation purposes since the property qualifies as a light pre-engineered structure. The Indiana Board responds that it did not address the issue in its final determination because it “was not an issue on the [original appeal] petition [IRC] filed for 1989 and [it] was not covered by the [Tax and Supreme] Courts’ remands.” (Resp’t Br. at 14.) While the Court agrees with the Indiana Board in result, it does so for a different reason.
As stated earlier, it is imperative that the taxpayer, when challenging an assessment, provides the Indiana Board with an argument and probative evidence to support its challenge. See North Park Cinemas, 689 N.E.2d at 765, 769. Thus, on remand, this Court expected IRC to present any issues it deemed ancillary to the application of the appropriate base rate, along with the probative evidence to support the resolution of those issues. See supra, page 10; North Park Cinemas, 689 N.E.2d at 769; Clark v. State Bd. of Tax Comm'rs, 694 N.E.2d 1230, 1237 n. 10 (Ind. Tax Ct.1998) (stating that the Indiana Board does not have the duty to make a case for the taxpayer; rather it has every right to expect that any errors in an assessment will be brought to its attention by the taxpayer.) While IRC discussed its improvement’s lack of a concrete ground slab; discussed the presence of more abundant lighting in its facility (albeit ineffectively); and discussed the proper grade factor, it failed to place the physical depreciation of the subject improvement at issue. Indeed, IRC never discussed “physical depreciation” at either the remand hearing or in its follow-up letter to the Indiana Board. (See Cert. Admin. R. at 348-433, 196-201.) Therefore, the Court will not reverse the Indiana Board's final determination for its failure to address the issue of physical depreciation.
CONCLUSION

    For the reasons stated above, the Court AFFIRMS the final determination of the Indiana Board with respect to Issues I and III. With respect to Issue II, the Indiana Board’s final determination is REVERSED and REMANDED. On remand, the Indiana Board is directed to instruct the local assessing officials to adjust IRC’s grade factor consistent with this opinion. See footnote


Footnote: On December 31, 2001, the legislature abolished the State Board of Tax Commissioners (State Board). 2001 Ind. Acts 198 § 119(b)(2). Effective January 1, 2002, the legislature created the Indiana Board of Tax Review (Indiana Board) as “successor” to the State Board. Ind. Code §§ 6-1.5-1-3; 6-1.5-4-1; 2001 Ind. Acts 198 § 95. Thus, when a final determination was issued on IRC’s appeal in April 2002, it was issued by the Indiana Board.


Footnote: IRC did not cite to the assessment regulations when it claimed the $0.90 per square foot figure was appropriate. Consequently, this Court expended valuable time and resources reviewing the assessment regulations in order to determine that the $0.90 figure was derived from the pricing schedule for yard improvements. See Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-5 (Schedule G) (1992).


Footnote: Approximately two years after the remand hearing, however, IRC filed a brief with this Court in which it stated that the unit-in-place tables “implied” a reduction of $1.70 per square foot. ( See Pet’r Reply Br. at 4.) See also Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-10 (2.11) (1992).


Footnote: “Substantial evidence is more than a scintilla. It means such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.” Amax Inc. Through Amax Coal Co. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 552 N.E.2d 850, 852 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1990) (citing South Shore Marina, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 527 N.E.2d 738, 742 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1988)).

Footnote: Assuming, however, that IRC’s testimony was enough to raise the issue before the Indiana Board, IRC failed to present any evidence as the amount of the adjustment under the unit-in-place tables. See Barth, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 756 N.E.2d 1124, 1129 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2001). IRC bore the burden of ascertaining the amount of the adjustment in order to make its prima facie case. See id.


Footnote: The administrative record indicates that IRC’s facility is approximately 95,248 square feet. (Cert. Admin. R. at 17.) $28,913 divided by 95,248 square feet reflects an adjustment of approximately $0.30 per square foot.

Footnote: That range is applied as follows:

Guidelines for adjusting for lighting are predicated on intensity of illumination and fixture quality. An adjustment upward or downward is necessary when either or both of these variables are not normal for a particular use and quality grade.

Scant illumination            DEDUCT upper range limit
AND Sub-quality fixtures

Scant illumination            DEDUCT lower range limit
OR Sub-quality fixtures

More abundant illumination    ADD lower range limit
OR Higher quality fixtures

More abundant illumination    ADD upper range limit
AND Higher quality fixtures

Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-3(c)(6) (1992).


Footnote: The GCK cost schedule provides minimal detail in describing the essential characteristics of a building that qualifies to be assessed under it. See Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.2-11-6 (Schedule A.4) (1996). Before the State Board amended its regulations to include a GCK cost schedule, certain light, pre-engineered or kit buildings were given a 50% reduction from the existing cost schedules to account for the inexpensive construction. See Ind. Admin. Code tit. 50, r. 2.1-4-5 (Schedules A.1 & A.2) (1992). Thereafter, the State Board issued Instructional Bulletins 91-8 and 92-1 to provide guidance to assessors in determining which light, pre-engineered buildings qualified for the reduction. See Componx, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 741 N.E.2d 442, 444-45 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2000). For example, these bulletins provide that the key elements used in identifying a kit building are, simply, the types of interior column and roof beam support used in the building, which include cold form cee channel supports, tapered columns, H-columns, and steel pole or post columns. Id. at 447. Although these bulletins have been superseded by the GCK cost schedule, they still offer guidance in determining whether a building may qualify to be assessed under the GCK schedule.


Footnote: In fact, the Indiana Board declined to address this issue on two grounds. First, it believed that IRC was not asking for a grade reduction at all, but rather the kit building adjustment. ( See Cert. Admin. R. at 43.) As the Indiana Board correctly points out, however, the kit building adjustment was not available until 1991. (Cert. Admin. R. at 43 n. 4 (citing Barth, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 699 N.E.2d 800, 801 n.1 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1998)).)
Second, the Indiana Board stated that with respect to IRC’s “alternative” argument (a grade reduction equivalent to the kit building adjustment), “[g]rade was not an issue in the remand order . . . and therefore [] will not be addressed.” (Cert. Admin. R. at 43 n.4.) This simply is not true. See Indianapolis Racquet Club, Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Comm’rs, 722 N.E.2d 926, 941 (Ind. Tax Ct. 2000), rev’d on other grounds by 743 N.E.2d 247 (Ind. 2001).

Footnote: On a final note: IRC contends that “there should . . . be an affirmative redetermination . . . for 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1994[.]” (Pet’r Br. at 16.) More specifically, IRC asserts that while it could be argued that the assessment that results from this opinion could be carried forward from year to year until the 1995 general reassessment, “such a result is not appropriate in this case with respect to years beginning after 1990 because there are material changes in the applicable assessing rules and regulations for these later years [i.e., the application of Instructional Bulletin 91-8].” (Pet’r Br. at 16.) IRC, however, need not worry about the application of Instructional Bulletin 91-8 to its subsequent assessments. In a case handed down simultaneously with this one, the Court addresses the application of Instructional Bulletin 91-8 to IRC’s improvement for the 1991 assessment. See Indianapolis Racquet Club, Inc. v. Washington Township (Marion County) Assessor, Case No. 49T10-0206-TA-59, slip op. (Ind. Tax Ct. Feb. 6,2004).