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Bond County Board of Review v. Property Tax Appeal Board

August 26, 2003

THE BOND COUNTY BOARD OF REVIEW, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
THE PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,
AND CLARENCE H. POTTHAST, JR., DEFENDANT.



Appeal from the Circuit Court of Bond County. No. 01-MR-5 Honorable Ralph J. Mendelsohn, Judge, presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Hopkins

As modified September 19, 2003.

THE BOND COUNTY BOARD OF REVIEW, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
THE PROPERTY TAX APPEAL BOARD, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT,
AND CLARENCE H. POTTHAST, JR., DEFENDANT.

Appeal from the Circuit Court of Bond County. No. 01-MR-5 Honorable Ralph J. Mendelsohn, Judge, presiding.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Presiding Justice Hopkins

UNPUBLISHED

The Bond County Board of Review (Board of Review) petitioned the circuit court for administrative review, contesting the determination of the Illinois Property Tax Appeal Board (PTAB) that two parcels of land owned by Clarence H. Potthast, Jr., should be classified as farmland. The PTAB appeals the circuit court's decision classifying the parcels as residential. We reverse the decision of the circuit court and affirm the decision of the PTAB.

FACTS

In 1974, Norbert and Margaret Zahner subdivided a nine-acre tract of land into three parcels, and the Bond County officials recorded the subdivision. The Zahners never improved the property for residential use and subsequently sold two of the parcels, totaling 6.31 acres, to Clarence Potthast, Sr., who sold them to his son, Clarence H. Potthast, Jr., in 1994. From 1994 to 1999, Potthast prepared, planted, and harvested hay and stored hay and logs on the two parcels, using neither of the parcels for residential purposes.

For the 1999 assessment year, the Board of Review assigned to Potthast's property an assessed value of $4,619 for the four-acre parcel and an assessed value of $1,937 for the two-acre parcel, based on the parcels' highest and best use as rural residential lots. Potthast complained to the Board of Review that the parcels should be valued as farmland and not as residential property. The Board of Review affirmed the assessments, and Potthast appealed to the PTAB.

Before the PTAB, the Board of Review did not dispute Potthast's contention that he used the parcels as farmland and had done so for the previous five years. Instead, the Board of Review argued that, because the parcels were parts of a recorded subdivision, they were properly assessed as residential lots.

On August 23, 2000, the PTAB disagreed with the Board of Review and reclassified the property from residential to agricultural. On January 10, 2001, after receiving certified values from the Board of Review, the PTAB issued a final administrative decision indicating that Potthast's four-acre parcel should be valued at $180 and his two-acre parcel should be valued at $53.

On February 9, 2001, the Board of Review filed its complaint for administrative review in the Bond County circuit court. On December 19, 2001, the circuit court reversed the PTAB's decision, holding that sections 9-65 and 10-30 of the Property Tax Code (the Code) (35 ILCS 200/9-65, 10-30 (West 2002)), ...


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