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07/05/89 Knox County Board of v. Property Tax Appeal Board

July 5, 1989

KNOX COUNTY BOARD OF REVIEW, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE

v.

ILLINOIS PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD ET AL., DEFENDANTS-APPELLANTS



APPELLATE COURT OF ILLINOIS, THIRD DISTRICT

541 N.E.2d 794, 185 Ill. App. 3d 530, 133 Ill. Dec. 583 1989.IL.1073

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Knox County; the Hon. Stephen C. Mathers, Judge, presiding.

APPELLATE Judges:

PRESIDING JUSTICE WOMBACHER delivered the opinion of the court. STOUDER and HEIPLE, JJ., concur.

DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE WOMBACHER

The issue presented for review is whether the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board's determination that a privately owned golf course located in rural Knox County, Illinois, was entitled to an "open space" classification for tax purposes, pursuant to section 20g-1 of the Revenue Act of 1939 as amended (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 190, par. 501g-1). We find that such classification was correct.

Mr. Clyde Raible owns a 77.5-acre tract of land in rural Knoxville, Illinois. The land includes a one-acre homestead and a nine-hole golf course on the remaining 76.5 acres.

For 1985, Mr. Raible received a tax bill reflecting a total assessed value of $52,380. That figure reflected a per-acre assessment based upon a value of $368.40 per acre, and a per-hole assessment based upon a value of $8,520 per golf hole.

Subsequently, Mr. Raible filed an application with the Knox County Board of Review (hereinafter the Board) seeking to obtain "open space" valuation for the golf course. "Open space" valuation is provided for under sections 20g-1 through 20g-3 of the Illinois Revenue Act of 1939 (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 120, pars. 501g-1 through 501g-3). When not eligible for open space valuation, all property is valued at its fair market value. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 120, par. 501.) However, if land is being used in a way which is defined in section 201g-1 as "open space purposes," the land may be valued based upon the price it would bring at a fair voluntary sale for use by a buyer for open space purposes. If the subject land meets statutory criteria, it will not be taxed at its fair market value, but at its fair cash value.

The Board denied Mr. Raible's application and he pursued an appeal before the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (hereafter the PTAB). The PTAB held a hearing on the appeal and reversed the Board's determination.

The PTAB concluded that the golf course was entitled to "open space" classification. The PTAB reduced the assessed value of the improvements on the property from $40,680 to $15,120. That reduction reflected a valuation of a building and house on the one-acre parcel, but excluded the additional per-hole assessments on the golf course. The per-acre assessment on the land remained the same.

The Board brought a complaint for administrative review in the circuit court of Knox County, pursuant to the Administrative Review Act (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 110, par. 3-101 et seq.; ch. 120, par. 592.4) to obtain judicial consideration of the PTAB's decision. Upon review, the trial court reversed the PTAB's determination. Following the trial court's Disposition of the complaint, the PTAB and Mr. Raible filed the instant appeal.

The appellants principally contend that the golf course is entitled to "open space" classification as that term is contemplated in section 20g-1 of the Illinois Revenue Act of 1939. (Ill. Rev. Stat. 1987, ch. 120, par. 501g-1.) Furthermore, they assert that the taxable value of the land should be assessed as open space property and not as a golf course. Pursuant thereto, it is their contention that a separate assessment on each of the nine tees, greens and fairways is inappropriate.

The Board contends that pursuant to sections 20g -- 2 and 20g -- 3, a piece of land is entitled to open space classification only if its fair cash value as open space land at the time it applies for ...


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