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Convention Headquarters Hotels, LLC (“Convention HQ”) owns the JW Marriott Hotel located in downtown Indianapolis.  On the March 1, 2010 assessment date, the subject property was under construction and assigned an assessed value of $86,987,100 ($15,270,400 for land and $71,716,700 for improvements).

Convention HQ subsequently appealed the assessment first with the Marion County Property Tax Assessment Board of Appeals and then with the Indiana Board of Tax Review.  On June 28, 2019, after the Indiana Board failed to issue a final determination within the statutorily prescribed period, Convention HQ appealed to the Tax Court, alleging that the 2010 assessment of its property violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the United States Constitution, 42 USC § 1983, the Property Taxation and Equal Privileges and Immunities Clauses of the Indiana Constitution, and the requirement that property be valued pursuant to its market value-in-use.

On November 4, 2019, Convention HQ filed a motion that sought to bifurcate the proceedings concerning the constitutional and valuation claims and stay the proceedings on the valuation claims until the constitutional claims were resolved.  On December 03, 2019, the Court granted Convention HQ’s motion over the Assessor’s objection.

After the parties unsuccessfully moved for partial summary judgment, the Court conducted a three-day trial in February of 2022.  During the trial, Convention HQ claimed that its evidence showed that the Marion County Assessor had violated the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the U.S. Constitution and the Property Taxation and Equal Privileges and Immunities Clauses of the Indiana Constitution by failing to assess the buildings of under construction commercial properties in Marion County uniformly between the 2006 and 2019 assessment dates.  The Assessor, on other hand, argued that Convention HQ’s claims were meritless because his evidence demonstrated that all of the under-construction buildings in Marion County had consistently been assessed based on their market values-in-use since the 2006 assessment date.

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