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PTABOA Procedure and ethics - Indiana County Assessors ...

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PTABOA Procedure and ethics
BY: MARK E. GIAQUINTA ANDSARAH L. SCHREIBER
What is a PTABOA?
Property Tax Assessment Board of AppealsIndiana Code § 6-1.1-28-1Composedof individualsat least 18 years old andknowledgeable in the valuation of property.May consist of 3-5 members
5 Memberptaboa
“This subsection applies to a county in which the board of commissioners elects to have a five (5) member county propertytax assessmentboard of appeals. In addition to the county assessor, only one (1) other individual who is an officer or employee of a county or township may serve on the board of appeals in the county in which the individual is an officer or employee. Subject to subsections (g) and (h), the fiscal body of the county shall appoint two (2) individuals to the board. At least one (1) of the members appointed by the county fiscal body must be a certified level two or level three assessor-appraiser. The fiscal body may waive the requirement in this subsection that one (1) of the members appointed by the fiscal body must be a certified level two or level three assessor-appraiser. Subject to subsections (g) and (h), the board of commissioners of the county shall appoint three (3) freehold members so that not more than three (3) of the five (5) members may be of the same political party and so that at least three (3) of the five (5) members are residents of the county. At least one (1) of the members appointed by the board of county commissioners must be a certified level two or level three assessor-appraiser. The board of county commissioners may waive the requirement in this subsection that one (1) of the freehold members appointed by the board of county commissioners must be a certified level two or level three assessor-appraiser.”
3 memberptaboa
“Thissubsection applies to a county in which the board of commissioners elects to have a three (3) membercounty property tax assessment board of appeals.In addition to the county assessor, only one (1) other individual who is an officer or employee of a county or township may serve on the board of appeals in the county in which the individual is an officer or employee. Subject to subsections (g) and (h), the fiscal body of the county shall appoint one (1) individual to the board. The member appointed by the county fiscal body must be a certified level two or level three assessor-appraiser. The fiscal body may waive the requirement in this subsection that the member appointed by the fiscal body must be a certified level two or level three assessor-appraiser. Subject to subsections (d) and (e), the board of commissioners of the county shall appoint two (2) freehold members so that not more than two (2) of the three (3) members may be of the same political party and so that at least two (2) of the three (3) members are residents of the county. At least one (1) of the members appointed by the board of county commissioners must be a certified level two or level three assessor-appraiser. The board of county commissioners may waive the requirement in this subsection that one (1) of the freehold members appointed by the board of county commissioners must be a certified level two or level three assessor-appraiser.”
POLITICAL PARTY REQUIREMENT
“The county assessor, county fiscal body, and board of county commissioners may agree to waive the requirement in subsection (b) or (c) that not more than three (3) of the five (5) or two (2) of the three (3) members of the[PTABOA] maybe of the same political party if it is necessary to waive the requirement due to the absence of certified level two or level three Indiana assessor-appraisers:(1) who are willing to serve on the board; and(2) whose political party membership status would satisfy the requirement in subsection (b) or (c).”
Ptaboamakeup
Aperson appointedto a PTABOAmay serve onthe PTABOA ofanother county at the same time.The PTABOA must electa president.
Role of assessor inptaboa
County AssessorNonvotingmember ofthe PTABOA;Shallserve as secretary of theboard;Shallkeep full and accurate minutes of the proceedings of theboard; andShallgive notice of the time, place, and purpose of each annual session of the county property tax assessment board.
Ptaboaoath
Indiana Code§6-1.1-28-2I, _______________, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Indiana, and that I will faithfully and impartially discharge my duty under the law as a member of the Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals for said County; that I will, according to my best knowledge and judgment, assess, and review the assessment of all the property of said county, and I will in no case assess any property at more or less than is provided by law, so help me God.
PTABOA AND ITS SIGNIFICANCE
Taxpayers and Assessing Officials are bound to disagree with regard to assessment issues.Whensuch disagreements occur, taxpayers must first exhaust their administrative remedies.Appearingbeforethe PTABOA isone such administrative remedy.
PTABOA – YOU’RE THE JUDGE
If the taxpayer and the assessing official do not agree on the resolution of all assessment issues or the results of the informal meeting are not forwarded toPTABOA notlater than 120 days after the date of the notice of review filed by the taxpayer, the PTABOA must hold a hearing on the appeal not later than 180 days after the date of the appeal.Taxpayermay request a continuance at least 20 days before the hearing.PTABOAmust rule on the continuance no later than ten days after the date the requestisfiled. The taxpayer may, at least eight days before the hearing, request that the PTABOA take action without his presence.
PTABOA – YOU’RE THE JUDGE
The parties look to the PTABOA to administer a fair hearing.You are on the record.Must treat one another, taxpayers and the assessing official with respect.Permit taxpayer and assessing official to be heard; butGain control of unruly participants.
PTABOA – YOU’RE THE JUDGE
Examples of inappropriate behavior during hearing:Jokes;Sarcasm;Failure to pay attention.
PTABOA – YOU’RE THE JUDGE
Each member of the PTABOA must conduct himself or herself the way any other judge would.Bench rulings not common.Consider taking matters under advisement.
Ptaboa– you’re the judge
Must understand the burden ofproofAssessments are presumed accurate, but assessor has burden of proof in appeal where the assessment increased by > 5% over the preceding assessment date.
PTABOA – YOU’RE THE JUDGE
Be alert for the presentation of confidential evidenceRemember, the hearing is recorded.When a PTABOA receives a confidential record, the PTABOA must maintain the confidentiality of such record.
PTABOA – YOU’RE THE JUDGE
A majority of the board that includes at least1 certifiedlevel two or level three assessor-appraiser constitutes a quorum for the transaction of business.Anyquestion properly before the board may be decided by the agreement of a majority of the whole board.
PTABOA POWER
Indiana Code §6-1.1-28-9PTABOA may:Subpoena witnesses;Examinewitnesses, under oath, on the assessment or valuation ofproperty;Compelwitnesses to answer its questions relevant to the assessment or valuation of property;andOrderthe production of any papers related to the assessment or valuation of property.
PTABOA Report
PTABOAmust submita report tothe DLGF,IBTR, and Legislative Services Agency (“LSA”) before April 1 annually (the report to LSA must be in an electronic format underI.C.§5-14-6). This report documents the notices for review filed with the PTABOA for the preceding year.
What is the Open Door Law (“ODL”)?
Indiana Code §5-14-3-1Purpose:To ensurethat official actioninvolving public business ofpublic agencies be conducted and takenopenly; keep the public informed.
ODL & PTABOA
PTABOA is subject to the ODLGoverning body asdefined by I.C. § 5-14-1.5-2
ODL & PTABOA
Meeting is a gathering of a majority for the purpose of taking official action upon official business.I.C.§5-14-1.5-2(c)Publicnotice of the date, time and place of any meeting must be given at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.But, seeI.C. §5-14-1.5-5(f) and meaning of “continuous session.”Agenda.PTABOA must also place notice in two localnewspapers for annual session.
ODL & PTABOA
“Official action”I.C.§5-14-1.5-2(d)Broadand wouldincludehearings anddeliberation by PTABOA.Any one constitutes official action:Receiving informationDeliberatingMaking recommendationsEstablishing policyMaking decisionsTaking final action
ODL &ptaboa
But,120days to render decision.Can deliberate;Decision does not have to be made simultaneously withhearing;Membersmay deliberateone on one without notifying the public so long as group does not convene todiscuss:BUT, be aware of “serial meetings”
ODL & PTABOA
Executive SessionNo statutory carve out fordeliberationNoticeAgenda and Memoranda
ODL &ptaboa
ConfidentialInformationCan go into executive session to discuss confidential information.But, do not stop hearing to start executive session.Process for executivesessionI.C. § 5-14-1.5-6.1“Executive sessions may be held only in the following instances: … For discussion of records classified as confidential by state or federal statute.”May not take FINAL action.
Access to Public Records Act (“APRA”)
I.C. §5-14-3-1“A fundamental philosophy of the American constitutional form of representative government is that government is the servant of the people and not their master. Accordingly, it is the public policy of the state that all persons are entitled to full and complete information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of those who represent them as public officials and employees.”
APRA& PTABOA
PTABOA is a “public agency” under APRAPublic record: I.C.§ 5-14-3-2Burdenon public agency to show why nondisclosure is appropriateRight to InspectRequirements for request
APRA & PTABOA
RighttoInspectAny personmay inspect and copy the public records of any public agency during the regular business hours of theagency.The request must:Identifywith reasonable particularity the record being requested;andBe, at the discretion of the agency, in writing on or in a form provided by the agency.
APRA & PTABOA
PTABOA must,withina reasonable time after the request isreceived, either:Providethe requested copies to the person making the request;orAllowthe person to makecopies:onthe agency's equipment;oronthe person's own equipment.
APRA & PTABOA
Records excepted from disclosure are listed in I.C. § 5-14-3-4:Range from those declared confidential by statute to grade transcripts.
Apra &ptaboa
What can the PTABOA do when records are excepted from disclosure?Deny disclosure of record or a part of the record; orRefuse to confirm or deny the existence of the record if the fact of the record’s existence or nonexistence would reveal information that could:Impede an ongoing investigation; orThreaten public safety.
Mark E. GiaQuintamgiaquinta@hallercolvin.comSarah L. Schreibersschreiber@hallercolvin.com

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PTABOA Procedure and ethics - Indiana County Assessors ...