ANDERSON — The Indiana Tax Court has denied an appeal filed by Wigwam Holdings to change the assessed value of the iconic facility for 2015 property taxes payable in 2016.
Matt Carr, an attorney for Wigwam Holdings, said Thursday that an appeal could still be filed with the Indiana Supreme Court. He said that option is still being discussed.
Carr said Wigwam Holdings has filed appeals for the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 assessed value on the 220,000-square-foot facility.
Madison County Assessor Larry Davis said in 2016 and 2017 the Madison County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals denied a request to lower the assessed value for the Wigwam. He said an appeal has been filed with the Indiana Board of Tax Revenue.
Wigwam Holdings in 2017, 2018 and 2019 filed for tax exempt status for the facility, according to Davis. The 2017 and 2018 request for tax exempt status was denied and appealed to the state.
Davis said the 2019 request for tax exemption status has not been determined, but the local board asked for a copy of the lease between Wigwam Holdings and the Jane Pauley Community Health Center, the only occupant in the building.
Madison County Assessor Larry Davis said the appraisal hired by Wigwam Holdings based the assessed value of the building as if the Anderson Community School system had demolished the building, leaving vacant ground.
Wigwam Holdings obtained the complex from the Anderson Community School system in 2014 at no cost and was provided with $630,000 to upgrade the facility.
An appeal was filed in 2016 with the Madison County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals in an effort to lower the assessed value from $11.4 million to $68,500.
The local board lowered the assessed value to $2.1 million.
Wigwam Holdings filed an appeal with the Indiana Board of Tax Review and renewed its claim that the value of the property was $68,500, maintaining the best use was as vacant land because the building was “functionally and economically obsolete.”
The Madison County Assessor’s position was that the building was obtained by Wigwam Holdings with the sole purpose of restoring the facility for community use in the future.
The Indiana Board of Tax Review denied the request in a 2018 finding that Wigwam Holdings failed to make a case to reduce the assessment.
In its appeal, Wigwam Holdings cited several cases in which the Indiana Tax Court determined cases involved matters under Indiana’s old system of property assessment.
“Finally, the unique, undisputed facts of this case indicate that Holdings Appraisal failed to accurately reflect its property’s market value in use at first blush,” the ruling states. “Indeed, Holdings sought to establish that its 2015 assessment should be reduced to $68,500 by presenting an Appraisal that provided an estimate of the property’s market value.”
The Indiana Tax Court determined that Wigwam Holdings did not demonstrate the decision by the Indiana Board of Tax Review was arbitrary, capricious and not to exceed its authority.
Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 640-4863.