UPDATED september 2019
School Board's Ark Park Appeal Won't Float
A number of states allow school boards and other taxing jurisdictions to challenge an assessor's valuation of taxable properties. The Kentucky Claims Commission recently affirmed that such challenges are not permitted under Kentucky law. Grant County Board of Education v. Ark Encounter, LLC, Kentucky Claims Commission Final Order No. K-25927 (May 31, 2019), involved the Grant County PVA's assessment of the "Ark Park," which is a "life-sized" replica of Noah's Ark. The Grant County Boarrd of Education challenged the PVA's assessment, arguing that the "Ark Park" had been undervalued by the PVA, thus depriving the school district of substantial tax revenue. The Claims Commission held that the school board does not have standing to challenge a tax appeal.
The relevant Kentucky statute, KRS 133.120(10), says that tax appeals may be brought by "Any persons aggrieved by the decision of the [local] board, including the property valuation administrator, taxpayer, and department. . . ." The Claims Commission employed a narrow reading of the term "aggrieved" to find that the school district had not been deprived of any legal rights, and thus lacked standing to appeal.
The case is currently under appeal.
Michele M. Whittington
Morgan Pottinger McGarvey
American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)