Appeal from Circuit Court of Coles County. No. 93MR22. Honorable Paul C. Komada, Judge Presiding.
As Corrected December 6, 1995.
Honorable Robert W. Cook, J., Honorable Robert J. Steigmann, J., Honorable Rita B. Garman, J., Concurring.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Cook
JUSTICE COOK delivered the opinion of the court:
The County of Coles (County) sought judicial review of a decision by the Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) regarding the assessment of property owned by Tabor Grain Company (Tabor). Tabor moved to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction, asserting that under section 111.4 of the Revenue Act of 1939 (Act) (Pub. Act 87-1189, art. 5, § 2, eff. September 24, 1992 (1992 Ill. Laws 3408, 3432-33), amending 35 ILCS 205/111.4 (West 1992)), the complaint for administrative review should have been filed in the appellate court. The circuit court granted the motion to dismiss, and the County appeals. We affirm.
In this case of first impression, this court is asked to interpret the language of section 111.4 of the Act, which--effective September 24, 1992--provided in pertinent part:
"Final administrative decisions of the Property Tax Appeal Board are subject to review under the provisions of the Administrative Review Law, except that in every case where a change in assessed valuation of $300,000 or more was sought, that review shall be afforded directly in the Appellate Court for the district in which the subject property involved in the Board's decision is situated, and not in the circuit court." (Emphasis denoting additions.) Pub. Act 87-1189, art. 5, § 2, eff. September 24, 1992 (1992 Ill. Legis. Serv. 3007, 3027, (West); 1992 Ill. Laws 3408, 3432-33), amending 35 ILCS 205/111.4 (West 1992).
Section 111.4 of the Act was repealed by Public Act 88-455 (Pub. Act 88-455, art. 32, § 32-20, eff. January 1, 1994 (1993 Ill. Laws 3497, 3830)), but identical language was added (Pub. Act 88-455, art. 16, § 16-195, eff. January 1, 1994 (1993 Ill. Laws 3497, 3636)) as section 16-195 of the Property Tax Code (see 35 ILCS 200/16-195 (West Supp. 1993)). At issue in the present case is how "a change in assessed valuation" is to be measured.
Tabor owns a grain elevator and associated structures located on approximately three acres of land in Coles County, Illinois. The County assessor's office determined the assessed valuation of the Tabor property for the 1990 tax year was $720,290. Tabor appealed the assessment to the County Board of Review (Board of Review), and the Board of Review affirmed.
On December 11, 1990, Tabor filed a petition for review of the Board of Review's decision with PTAB. In its petition, Tabor stated that the county assessor's assessment of the property was $720,290, that the Board of Review's assessment was also $720,290, and that Tabor's assessed valuation of its property was $260,978. After receiving Tabor's petition, PTAB requested from the Board of Review a written explanation of the Board of Review's actions, pursuant to PTAB Rule 1910.40(a). (86 Ill. Adm. Code § 1910.40(a), at 2366-67 (1991).) PTAB provided a form entitled "Notes on Appeal" for the Board of Review to supply its written explanation. In the Notes on Appeal, received by PTAB on November 13, 1991, the Board of Review "stipulated" that its revised opinion of the assessed valuation of the Tabor property was $532,000. PTAB conducted an evidentiary hearing in July 1992. On February 10, 1993, PTAB filed its decision, concluding that a reduction in the assessment of the property to $339,649 was supported by the evidence. On March 17, 1993, the County filed its complaint for administrative review in the circuit court.
The various figures are shown on the following chart:
County Assessor's Office $720,290