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Update – "House of Cards" Legislation Not Passed

by: Joseph Grather
9 Apr 2014
As reported by the Washington Post here, a bill that would have increased the annual “tax credit” budget for production companies filming in Maryland (like Netflix’s House of Cards and HBO’s Veep) from $15M to $18.5M failed to pass last week in Maryland’s General Assembly. The fate of House of Cards filming in Maryland remains... Read More

Maryland Threatens to Take "House of Cards" by Eminent Domain

by: Joseph Grather
2 Apr 2014
What skullduggery is this?  Netflix/House of Cards’ star, Frank Underwood (Kevin Spacey) was recently spotted in Annapolis lobbying legislators towards a new law that would make available additional tens of millions of dollars in tax breaks from the State of Maryland (reported by Bloomberg here).  A legislative hearing is scheduled for April 2, 2013 before Maryland... Read More

Comparable Sales From Neighboring Town Not Persuasive Evidence

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
1 Apr 2014
A Tax Court judge affirmed a property owner’s assessment because the owner only provided comparable sales information from a neighboring municipality without demonstrating how the real estate markets in the two municipalities were either alike or different.  Specifically, the property owner presented four comparable sales from neighboring Ocean Township, which was “six steps” away from... Read More

You Gotta Be In it To Win It: Kentucky Court Stops Pipeline Taking

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
31 Mar 2014
A Kentucky court recently stopped a utility company from utilizing eminent domain to build an underground gas pipeline to transport natural gas liquids through the Commonwealth.  The case, Kentuckians United to Restrain Eminent Domain, Inc. v. Bluegrass Pipeline Company, LLC (Civil Action No. 13-CI-1492),  involved the challenge by plaintiff, a non-profit agency formed for the purpose of... Read More

Town Gets Taste of Own Medicine: Not Permitted to Pursue Counterclaim After Deadline

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
19 Mar 2014
In an unusual case, a Tax Court judge denied a municipality’s attempt to file a counterclaim in a tax appeal almost two years after the statutory deadline for filing such a claim.  Typically, municipalities file motions to dismiss taxpayer appeals with citations to case law and court rules which strictly enforce the prescribed filing deadlines. ... Read More

Happy Trails – Property Owner Wins Before USSCT

by: Joseph Grather
18 Mar 2014
On March 10, 2014, the United States Supreme Court issued its almost unanimous (8-1) decision in Brandt Revocable Trust v United States.  The question presented is detailed in our prior blog here, but simply stated, the government argued that it owned the ground underneath an abandoned railroad right-of-way that permitted it to continue the Medicine Bow... Read More

Private Property Rights Protection Act Passed by the House

by: Joseph Grather
11 Mar 2014
A federal bill H.R. 1944 introduced back in May of 2013, has been passed by the House of Representatives. Reported here.  All the details and text of the bill are set forth in our June 2013 blog.  Simply stated, the bill purportedly will punish States that abuse the eminent domain power by limiting federal dollars for... Read More

Correction of Errors Statute Wrong Way to Correct County Tax Board Judgment

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
10 Mar 2014
Several property owners recently asked the Tax Court to correct judgments entered by the Middlesex County Board of Taxation after receiving judgments showing a different value than the County Tax Board commissioner hearing the matters had determined.  Specifically, the commissioner indicated that he had determined the market value of the properties was $420,000, which placed... Read More

Homeowner’s Reduced Assessment Upheld by Appeals Court

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
4 Mar 2014
Long Branch City unsuccessfully appealed the decision of a Tax Court judge which reduced the assessment on a residential home.  The home at issue was built in 2008.  At trial, the property owner’s valuation expert testified that he relied primarily on comparable sales from Deal Township, a neighboring municipality which he considered more desirable, and... Read More

Sisters Get Only Some Mercy From Tax Court on Exemption Claim

by: Anthony F. Della Pelle
3 Mar 2014
Last week, another property exemption case was decided by the New Jersey Tax Court, this one in partial favor of the property owner, the Sisters of Mercy of the Americans Mid-Atlantic Community, Inc. (the “Sisters”).  The Sisters own two parcels of property in Sea Isle City, Cape May County, which are located one block from... Read More