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Harrah's Ohio Acquisition Co., L.L.C. v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Revision

Supreme Court of Ohio

July 31, 2018, Submitted; October 30, 2018, Decided

No. 2016-0568

Opinion

 [*340]  [***193] Per Curiam.

 [**P1]  This is the third appeal before this court involving the real-property valuation of Thistledown, a "racino" in Cuyahoga County. In the first appeal, involving tax year 2010, we affirmed the decision of the Board of Tax Appeals ("BTA") valuing the real property at $13.8 million based on an appraisal submitted by the property owner.  [***194] Warrensville Hts. City School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Revision, 145 Ohio St.3d 115, 2016-Ohio-78, 47 N.E.3d 144, ¶ 24-26 ("Warrensville Hts. City School Dist. I"). We rejected the school board's argument that a July 2010 bankruptcy sale of the horse [****2]  racetrack and related assets for $43 million established the true value of the real property, because the sale occurred at auction and was a forced sale under R.C. 5713.04. Id. at ¶ 21-23. In the second appeal, involving tax year 2012, we again rejected the 2010 sale price as evidence of the real property's value and again affirmed the BTA's appraisal-based valuation (this time at $16.3 million). Warrensville Hts. City School Dist. Bd. of Edn. v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Revision, 152 Ohio St.3d 277, 2017-Ohio-8845, 95 N.E.3d 359 ("Warrensville Hts. City School Dist. II").

 [**P2]  This appeal involves tax year 2013. Unlike the two earlier cases, here, appellant, Warrensville Heights City School District Board of Education ("school [*341]  board"), and appellee Harrah's Ohio Acquisition Company, L.L.C., Thistledown's owner, both submitted appraisal evidence. The BTA rejected the school board's appraisal and adopted that of Harrah's, valuing the property at $22 million. The school board appeals, asserting three propositions of law. Because the BTA committed legal error in assessing the school board's appraisal evidence, we vacate the BTA's decision and remand the cause to the BTA for further proceedings.

I. FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

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154 Ohio St. 3d 340 *; 2018-Ohio-4370 **; 114 N.E.3d 192 ***; 2018 Ohio LEXIS 2610 ****; 2018 WL 5778882

HARRAH'S OHIO ACQUISITION COMPANY, L.L.C., APPELLEE, v. CUYAHOGA COUNTY BOARD OF REVISION ET AL., APPELLEES; WARRENSVILLE HEIGHTS CITY SCHOOL DISTRICT BOARD OF EDUCATION, APPELLANT.

Notice: THIS SLIP OPINION IS SUBJECT TO FORMAL REVISION BEFORE IT IS PUBLISHED IN AN ADVANCE SHEET OF THE OHIO OFFICIAL REPORTS.

Subsequent History: On remand at, Tax value determined by Harrah's Ohio Acquisition Co., LLC v. Cuyahoga Cty. Bd. of Revision, 2019 Ohio Tax LEXIS 1278 (Ohio B.T.A., June 7, 2019)

Prior History:  [****1] APPEAL from the Board of Tax Appeals, Nos. 2014-4596, 2014-4810, 2014-4818, and 2014-4896.

Disposition: Decision vacated and cause remanded.

CORE TERMS

school board, license, lease, appraisal, real property, real estate, valuation, goodwill, income-capitalization, racino, buyer, judicial notice, argues, subject property, proposition of law, transferred, racetrack, casinos, racing, property owner, sale price, contends, reliable, percent, zoning, rent

Tax Law, State & Local Taxes, Administration & Procedure, Judicial Review, Real Property Taxes, Assessment & Valuation, Valuation of Real Property, Evidence, Judicial Notice, Adjudicative Facts, Facts Generally Known, Verifiable Facts, Civil Procedure, Trials, Evidence & Testimony, Adjudicative Facts