ATTORNEYS FOR PETITIONER: ATTORNEYS FOR RESPONDENT:
B. KEITH SHAKE STEVE CARTER
MICHAEL R. HARPRING ATTORNEY GENERAL OF INDIANA
HENDERSON DAILY WITHROW & DEVOE Indianapolis, IN
DEPUTY ATTORNEY GENERAL
INDIANA TAX COURT
THE DALTON FOUNDRIES, INC., )
) Cause No. 49T10-0001-TA-5
DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL )
See footnote )
ORDER ON PARTIES CROSS-MOTIONS
FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
NOT FOR PUBLICATION
April 28, 2004
The Dalton Foundries, Inc. (Dalton) appeals the State Board of Tax Commissioners (State
Board) final determination denying its claim for a resource recovery system (RRS) deduction
for the March 1, 1993 assessment. The matter is currently before the
Court on the parties cross-motions for summary judgment. The issue for the
Court to decide is whether the State Board erred in denying Daltons application
for the RRS deduction.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
The material facts as they relate to this case are undisputed. Dalton
is an Indiana corporation with principal offices in Warsaw, Indiana. On June
18, 1993, Dalton filed a Claim for Deduction of Assessed Valuation Applicable to
Resource Recovery Systems (Form RRS-1) covering real and personal property with the Kosciusko
County Auditor (Auditor). The Auditor denied the application on June 22, 1993,
because it was not timely filed. On October 22, 1993, Dalton filed
a second Form RRS-1; the Auditor again denied it because Dalton missed the
Dalton appealed to the Kosciusko County Board of Review (BOR) by filing two
Petitions for Correction of Error (Forms 133) one for the real property
in its RRS, one for the personal property in its RRS. The
BOR denied Daltons claims. Dalton then appealed to the State Board.
The State Board upheld the Auditors denial.
Dalton subsequently filed an original tax appeal. On July 28, 1995, this
Court reversed and remanded the State Boards final determination, finding that the Auditor
lacked the authority to deny Daltons claim for deduction.
See Dalton Foundries,
Inc. v. State Bd. of Tax Commrs, 653 N.E.2d 548, 553 (Ind. Tax
Ct. 1995) (Dalton I). The Court instructed the State Board to order
the Auditor to forward Daltons Form RRS-1 to the Wayne Township Assessor (Assessor)
for review. See id. at 555.
Pursuant to the remand order, the Assessor received Daltons Form RRS-1. On
October 10, 1995, the Assessor denied Daltons application because it was not timely
filed. Dalton appealed to the BOR; the BOR upheld the Assessors denial.
Dalton again appealed the BORs denial to the State Board. On
November 30, 1999, the State Board issued a final determination upholding the Assessors
On January 13, 2000, Dalton filed another original tax appeal. Dalton subsequently
filed a motion for summary judgment on September 28, 2000. The State
Board filed a response brief on January 9, 2001.
See footnote The Court conducted
a hearing on April 9, 2001. Additional facts will be supplied as
ANALYSIS AND OPINION
Standard of Review
This Court gives great deference to the final determinations of the State Board
when it acts within the scope of its authority. Hamstra Builders, Inc.
v. Dept of Local Govt Fin., 783 N.E.2d 387, 390 (Ind. Tax Ct.
2003). Thus, this Court will reverse a final determination of the State
Board only when its findings are unsupported by substantial evidence, arbitrary, capricious, constitute
an abuse of discretion, or exceed statutory authority. Id.
In addition, a motion for summary judgment will be granted only when there
is no genuine issue of material fact, and a party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. Ind. Trial Rule 56(C). Cross
motions for summary judgment do not alter this standard. See Mantonovich v.
State Bd. of Tax Commrs, 705 N.E.2d 1093, 1096 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1999),
Indiana Code § 6-1.1-12-35 provides that a Form RRS-1 covering real property must
be filed between March 1st and May 10th of the assessment year; a
Form RRS-1 covering personal property must be filed between March 1st and May
15th of the assessment year. Ind. Code Ann. § 6-1.1-12-35(a), (d) (West
1993) (repealed 2001). In Dalton I, this Court determined that while nothing
in the law prevents a township assessor from considering an untimely filed Form
RRS-1, nothing in the law requires a township assessor to consider an untimely
filed Form RRS-1, either. Dalton I, 653 N.E.2d at 554 (emphasis
added). Thus, this Court refused to consider the statutory filing deadline language
meaningless and held that a township assessor has discretion to deny an untimely
filed Form RRS-1. Id. at 554-55.
Dalton does not dispute that its application was untimely filed; however, it claims
that because [t]here exist[s] no previously stated, ascertainable standards for the exercise of
discretion to deny the [RRS] deduction . . . based on untimely filing
of the paperwork[,] . . . that discretion cannot be exercised against the
taxpayer at this juncture. (Petr Mot. for and Mem. in Supp. of
Summ. J. at 8 (internal quotation omitted).) Dalton is incorrect. The
ascertainable standard for the exercise of the Assessors discretion is the statutory filing
deadline contained in Indiana Code § 6-1.1-12-35.
The Assessor specifically denied Daltons Form RRS-1 because the statement MUST be filed
between March 1 and May 15[.] (See Petr Mot. for and Mem.
in Supp. of Summ. J., Ex. B at 1 (emphasis in original).)
The State Board upheld the Assessors determination, finding that Dalton did not file
the claim for resource recovery within the statutory deadlines required by IC 6-1.1-12-35(a)
and (d). (See Petr Mot. for and Mem. in Supp. of Summ.
J., Ex. C at 11.) Thus, it is clear to the Court
that Daltons RRS application was denied because it was untimely filed. Having
stated in Dalton I that the Assessor had discretion to deny an untimely
filed Form RRS-1, and in light of the filing deadlines prescribed by statute,
the Court cannot say that the State Board abused its discretion in affirming
the Assessors denial of Daltons RRS deduction application.
For the aforementioned reasons, the Court denies Daltons motion for summary judgment and
GRANTS summary judgment in favor of the Department of Local Government Finance.
SO ORDERED this 28th day of April, 2004.
Thomas G. Fisher, Judge
Indiana Tax Court
B. Keith Shake
Michael R. Harpring
Henderson, Daily, Withrow & DeVoe
2600 One Indiana Square
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Attorney General of Indiana
By: Joel Schiff
Deputy Attorney General
Indiana Government Center South, Fifth Floor
402 West Washington Street
Indianapolis, Indiana 46204-2770
Indiana Board of Tax Review
100 N. Senate Ave.
Room N-1058 (A)
Indianapolis, IN 46204
The State Board of Tax Commissioners (State Board) was originally the Respondent
in this appeal. However, the legislature abolished the State Board as of
December 31, 2001. 2001 Ind. Acts 198 § 119(b)(2). Effective January
1, 2002, the legislature created the Department of Local Government Finance (DLGF),
Indiana Code Annotated § 6-1.1-30-1.1 (West Supp. 2003)(eff. 1-1-02); 2001 Ind. Acts 198
§ 66, and the Indiana Board of Tax Review (Indiana Board). Ind.
Code Ann. § 6-1.5-1-3 (West Supp. 2003)(eff. 1-1-02); 2001 Ind. Acts 198 §
95. Pursuant to Indiana Code § 6-1.5-5-8,
the DLGF is substituted for the State Board in appeals from final determinations
of the State Board that were issued before January 1, 2002. Ind.
Code Ann. § 6-1.5-5-8 (West Supp. 2003)(eff. 1-1-02); 2001 Ind. Acts 198 §
95. Nevertheless, the law in effect prior to January 1, 2002 applies
to those appeals. A.I.C. § 6-1.5-5-8. See also 2001 Ind. Acts
198 § 117. Although the DLGF has been substituted as the Respondent,
this Court will still reference the State Board throughout this opinion.
Resource recovery system (RRS) is defined as tangible property directly used to
dispose of solid waste or hazardous waste by converting it into energy or
other useful products.
Ind. Code Ann. § 6-1.1-12-28.5(a) (West 1993) (amended 2003).
[T]he owner of a [RRS] . . . is entitled to have
deducted annually from the assessed value of the system an amount equal to
ninety-five percent (95%) of that assessed value. Id.
Although not captioned as a cross motion for summary judgment, the State
Boards response brief requests that summary judgment be entered in its favor.
Pursuant to Indiana Trial Rule 56(B), summary judgment may be granted to the
non-moving party. Therefore, the Court will treat the State Boards request as
a cross motion for summary judgment.
See Hunt Corp. v. Indiana Dept
of State Revenue, 709 N.E.2d 766, 767 n.5 (Ind. Tax Ct. 1999).