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02/26/87 the Lake County Board of v. the Property Tax Appeal

February 26, 1987

THE LAKE COUNTY BOARD OF REVIEW ET AL., PLAINTIFFS-APPELLEES

v.

THE PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD, DEFENDANT (THE TOWN OF WARREN ET AL., INTERVENORS-APPELLEES; MARRIOTT



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, SECOND DISTRICT

Corporation, Defendant-Appellant)

504 N.E.2d 1333, 152 Ill. App. 3d 1093, 105 Ill. Dec. 815 1987.IL.246

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Lake County; the Hon. Lawrence D. Inglis, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

JUSTICE REINHARD delivered the opinion of the court. WOODWARD and DUNN, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE REINHARD

The Marriott Corporation (Marriott) appeals from the order of the circuit court of Lake County which denied its motion for enforcement of a judgment in its favor by refusing to order the Lake County treasurer's office to issue a cash refund of $458,904.18 for overpaid real estate taxes for 1981.

Marriott raises the following issues on appeal: (1) whether the setoff by the county treasurer of Marriott's 1981 real estate tax refund against real estate taxes owed for 1982 and 1983 is unauthorized by law and void; and (2) whether the trial court erred in refusing to enforce the final judgment requiring a refund of overpaid 1981 real estate taxes.

This case initially involved a challenge of the assessment for the 1981 real estate taxes on the property which comprised Marriott's Great America theme park in Gurnee. The township assessor originally determined that the property had a fair market value of $66,971,862 as of January 1, 1981, resulting in an equalized assessed value of $22,301,630. After unsuccessfully complaining to the Lake County board of review , Marriott appealed the assessor's determination of the fair market value of the property to the Property Tax Appeal Board . The PTAB determined that the fair market value of the property in 1981 was only $44 million. The LCBR sought administrative review of the decision of the PTAB in the circuit court of Lake County. The circuit court found that the PTAB had erred in its determination of the fair market value of the property, determined the new fair market value to be $50 million, and ordered a refund to Marriott. This court, however, in Lake County Board of Review v. Property Tax Appeal Board (1986), 140 Ill. App. 3d 1042, 489 N.E.2d 446, reversed the findings of the circuit court for the reasons set forth in that opinion which are not of issue in this appeal. While there is no documentation in the record, it would appear that Marriott paid the 1981 real estate taxes under protest in compliance with section 194 of the Revenue Act of 1939 (Act) (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1981, ch. 120, par. 675).

On March 17, 1986, this court issued its mandate instructing the circuit court to reinstate the determination of the PTAB that the fair market value of the property in 1981 was $44 million and to order such further relief consistent with the opinion. Subsequently, on April 7, 1986, pursuant to Marriott's motion, the circuit court entered judgment on the mandate which reinstated the decision of the PTAB setting the 1981 fair market value of the property at $44 million. The court also determined that the correct amount of the refund exclusive of interest was $501,031.84, that this refund was partially satisfied by one of the taxing districts prior to the appeal, and that the remaining judgment amount was to be $407,487.04 plus 6% per annum interest calculated from June 13, 1984, until the entire amount is paid. Although Marriott requested in its motion that the court order the county treasurer to issue a check for the total amount of the refund plus interest, the court did not grant this request, nor did it order the treasurer to issue the refund to Marriott in any particular manner.

Instead of issuing a check for the amount owed, the Lake County treasurer sent a letter dated May 16, 1986, to Marriott's counsel stating that he had complied with the order of the circuit court by offsetting the amount due to Marriott as a refund for the overpayment of 1981 real estate taxes against the amount owed by Marriott for unpaid 1982 and 1983 real estate taxes on the property which comprises the Great America theme park, leaving a balance due the county from Marriott of $10,438.26. The 1982 and 1983 tax liability resulted from the determination of the PTAB on May 7, 1986, increasing the assessment on the real estate for those years.

Disagreeing with the actions of the treasurer, Marriott filed a motion for enforcement of the judgment in the circuit court contending that the treasurer's actions were illegal and contrary to the law and requesting an enforcement order requiring the treasurer to remit a check in the amount owed under the decision of the court. The trial court, however, did not agree with Marriott and, at a hearing on May 28, 1986, denied the motion. A motion to reconsider was denied on June 18, 1986. It does not appear from the record before us that Marriott moved to stay the order of the PTAB concerning the 1982 and 1983 assessments or paid the taxes and protested the decision of the PTAB according to statutory requirements.

While Marriott has apparently filed a complaint for administrative review, mandamus, and other relief from the PTAB decision on the 1982 and 1983 assessments, this matter is not in the record and is not material to the question before us. Other documents contained in the appendix attached to Lake County's brief and relied on in its arguments in its brief which were not a part of the record below are also not properly considered by us, and we do not do so. Jenkins v. Wu (1984), 102 Ill. 2d 468, 484, 468 N.E.2d 1162; Cala v. Gerami (1985), 137 Ill. App. 3d 936, 938, 484 N.E.2d 1199.

As Marriott points out, this appeal does not involve the validity of the 1981, 1982, or 1983 real estate tax assessments levied against the property which comprised Marriott's Great America theme park. Instead, it involves the narrow question of whether the procedure utilized by the county treasurer to collect the real estate taxes due for 1982 and 1983, offsetting an amount owed to the taxpayer as a refund against an amount determined to be owed by the taxpayer on its next due tax bill, was a proper exercise of his authority granted by the statute. Marriott contends that this procedure is contrary to the duties and obligations imposed on the treasurer by the plain language of the revenue statute, that the treasurer lacks the implicit authority to utilize such a procedure for collecting taxes, and that the continued use of this procedure will lead to inJustice, confusion, and lack of uniformity in the collection of taxes. It argues that the language of the statutes involved placed a mandatory duty on the treasurer to ...


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