from the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals (BTA No. 2016-551)
& Gillis Law Group, LLC, Mark H. Gillis, and Kelley A.
Gorry, for appellant.
Gibbs Firm, LPA, Ryan J. Gibbs, and Geoffrey N. Byrne, for
appellee Lowe's Home Centers, LLC.
Geoffrey N. Byrne.
1} Appellant, Dublin City Schools Board of Education
("BOE"), appeals from an Ohio Board of Tax Appeals
("BTA") decision that dismissed the BOE's
appeal from a Franklin County Board of Revision
("BOR") decision valuing a property owned by
Lowe's Home Centers, LLC ("Lowe's"). For
the following reasons, we reverse the BTAs decision and
remand for further proceedings.
Facts and Procedural History
2} In March 2015, Lowe's filed a complaint with
the BOR seeking a reduction in value for certain real
property it owns located at 6555 Dublin Center Drive, Dublin,
Ohio ("the property"). In May 2015, the BOE filed a
counter-complaint in support of the county auditor's
valuation of the property.
3} On March 1, 2016, the BOR held a hearing
regarding the matter. The next day, the BOR mailed a letter
indicating it was granting a reduction in value as to the
property (the "March 2, 2016 decision letter"). The
March 2, 2016 decision letter identified "LBUBS 2007-C1
COMPLEX 2740 LLC" as the owner of the property, even
though Lowe's is in fact the property's owner. The
BOR sent this letter to LBUBS 2007-C1 COMPLEX 2740 LLC in
care of Lowe's counsel. The letter indicates that a copy
was also sent to the BOE's counsel, but BOE asserts that
the record does not conclusively show that it received the
March 2, 2016 decision letter.
4} On April 1, 2016, Lowe's filed a notice of
appeal with the BTA. Also on April 1, 2016, the BOR sent a
"corrected letter" regarding the property to both
Lowe's counsel and the BOE's counsel (the "April
1, 2016 decision letter"). The April 1, 2016 decision
letter is identical to the March 2, 2016 decision letter,
except that it correctly identified Lowe's as the
5} On April 8, 2016, the BOE filed an appeal with
the BTA from the BOR's April 1, 2016 decision letter. On
April 13, 2016, the BTA consolidated the parties'
appeals. On November 1, 2016, Lowe's moved to dismiss the
BOE's appeal as untimely. Lowe's argued that the BOE
did not comply with R.C. 5717.01 because it filed its appeal
more than 30 days after the BOR's decision was certified
on March 2, 2016. The BOE argued that its appeal was timely
because there was no evidence it received the March 2, 2016
decision letter, because the letter itself was not sufficient
to give it notice of the decision as required by statute, and
because the sending of the April 1, 2016 decision letter
began a new 30-day appeal period. On November ...