Betty L. Green Living Trust and Richard R. Green Living Trust, appellants,
Morrill County Board of Equalization, appellee.
1. Taxation: Judgments: Appeal and
Error. Appellate courts review decisions rendered by
the Tax Equalization and Review Commission for errors
appearing on the record.
Judgments: Appeal and Error. When reviewing
a judgment for errors appearing on the record, an appellate
court's inquiry is whether the decision conforms to the
law, is supported by competent evidence, and is neither
arbitrary, capricious, nor unreasonable.
Taxation: Appeal and Error. Questions of law
arising during appellate review of the Tax Equalization and
Review Commission's decisions are reviewed de novo on the
Administrative Law: Judgments. Whether an
agency decision conforms to the law is by definition a
question of law.
Administrative Law: Judgments: Words and
Phrases. Agency action is arbitrary, capricious, and
unreasonable if it is taken in disregard of the facts or
circumstances of the case, without some basis which would
lead a reasonable and honest person to the same conclusion.
Taxation: Valuation: Presumptions: Evidence.
A presumption exists that a board of equalization has
faithfully performed its official duties in making an
assessment and has acted upon sufficient competent evidence
to justify its action. That presumption remains until there
is competent evidence to the contrary presented, and the
presumption disappears when there is competent evidence
adduced on appeal to the contrary. From that point forward,
the reasonableness of the valuation fixed by the board of
equalization becomes one of fact based upon all the evidence
Taxation: Valuation: Proof: Appeal and
Error. The burden of showing a valuation to be
unreasonable rests upon the taxpayer on appeal from the
action of the board of equalization.
Neb. 934] 8. Taxation: Valuation:
Proof. The burden of persuasion imposed on a
complaining taxpayer is not met by showing a mere difference
of opinion unless it is established by clear and convincing
evidence that the valuation placed upon the property when
compared with valuations placed on other similar property is
grossly excessive and is the result of a systematic exercise
of intentional will or failure of plain duty, and not mere
errors of judgment.
Taxation: Valuation: Witnesses. A resident
owner who is familiar with his or her property and knows its
worth is permitted to testify as to its value without further
foundation. This principle rests upon the owner's
familiarity with the property's characteristics, its
actual and potential uses, and the owner's experience in
dealing with it.
from the Tax Equalization and Review Commission. Affirmed.
Timothy L. Moll and Anthony M. Aerts, of Rembolt Ludtke,
L.L.R, for appellants.
R. Rodak, Morrill County Attorney, for appellee.
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, and Funke, JJ.,
and Colborn and Samson, District Judges.
appeal involves the valuations of certain grassland
properties owned by the Betty L. Green Living Trust and the
Richard R. Green Living Trust (the Trusts). The Trusts appeal
from the July 18, 2017, order of the Tax Equalization and
Review Commission (TERC) which affirmed the valuations which
had been established by the Morrill County assessor and were
approved by the Morrill County Board of Equalization (the
Board). We affirm TERC's order.
them, the Trusts own five grassland parcels of agricultural
and horticultural land located in Morrill County, Nebraska,
the assessed valuations of which for tax year 2016 were the
subject of protests. In its order, TERC dismissed
Neb. 935] the case involving a sixth property for lack of
jurisdiction. The Trusts do not challenge that part of the
decision, and therefore, we discuss only ...