Taxation: Judgments: Appeal and Error.
Appellate courts review decisions rendered by the Tax
Equalization and Review Commission for errors appearing on
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.
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.
___:___:___:___. Once the challenging party overcomes the
presumption of validity by competent evidence, the
reasonableness of the valuation fixed by the board of
equalization becomes one of fact based upon all of the
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.
Taxation: Valuation: Proof. The burden of
persuasion imposed on a complaining taxpayer is not met by
showing a mere difference of [304 Neb. 639] 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.
from the Tax Equalization and Review Commission.
Richard H. Roberts, Perkins County Attorney, and Gary F.
Burke for appellant.
Frederick D. Stehlik and Zachary W. Lutz-Priefert, of Gross
& Welch, PC, L.L.O., for appellee.
Heavican, C.J., Miller-Lerman, Cassel, Stacy, Funke, Papik,
and Freudenberg, JJ.
review proceeding addresses the taxable valuation of
commercial real estate used as an ethanol plant. The taxpayer
unsuccessfully protested the county's $16.3 million
valuation-a valuation based upon mass appraisal
techniques-and then appealed to the Tax Equalization and
Review Commission (TERC), which reduced the value to $7.3
million based upon the taxpayer's appraisal. Here,
because the county's valuation relied upon admittedly
incorrect information and lacked evidentiary support
regarding applicable depreciation, the evidence showed more
than a mere difference of opinion. Finding no error appearing
on the record, we affirm TERC's ruling. But our decision
should not be read to categorically reject mass appraisal as
a proper valuation methodology for an ethanol plant.
Industries, LLC/Mid America Agri Products (Wheatland) owned
an ethanol plant on commercial real estate in Madrid, Perkins
County, Nebraska (Madrid property). The [304 Neb. 640]
Perkins County assessor, Peggy Burton, assessed the value of
the Madrid property at $16, 364, 768 for the 2017 tax year.
protested the assessment to the Perkins County Board of
Equalization (Board). At the protest hearing, Wheatland did
not present evidence. The Board affirmed Burton's
valuation of the Madrid property.
appealed to TERC. A hearing was held and both parties
presented evidence. We first summarize the evidence regarding
the county's assessment, then the evidence of the
taxpayer's appraisal, and finally TERC's decision.
county, Darrell Stanard conducted an appraisal of the Madrid
property using the mass appraisal method. He had appraised
five other ethanol plants in different counties using the
mass appraisal ...