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Green Local Schools Board of Education v. Manolakis

Court of Appeals of Ohio, Ninth District, Summit

August 14, 2019

GREEN LOCAL SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION Appellee
v.
STAN MANOLAKIS, et al. Appellants and SUMMIT COUNTY BOARD OF REVISION Appellee

          APPEAL FROM JUDGMENT ENTERED IN THE OHIO BOARD OF TAX APPEALS COUNTY OF SUMMIT, OHIO CASE No. 2017-1706

          MATTHEW YACKSHAW, and JOSHUA A. LEMERMAN, Attorneys at Law, for Appellants.

          ROBERT M. MORROW, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          MARY JO SHANNON SLICK, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          TIMOTHY J. WALSH, Attorney at Law, for Appellee.

          DECISION AND JOURNAL ENTRY

          DONNA J. CARR, Judge

         {¶1} Appellants Stan and Tiffany Manolakis appeal from the decision of the Ohio Board of Tax appeals ("the BTA"). This Court affirms.

         I.

         {¶2} At the end of 2015, Mr. and Mrs. Manolakis purchased a home on Arlington Road in North Canton via an online auction. They paid $800, 000 plus additional fees for a total of $836, 299.00. The auditor assigned the property a value of $1, 498, 350 for 2016.

         {¶3} In February 2017, Mr. and Mrs. Manolakis filed a complaint against the valuation of real property with the Summit County Board of Revision ("the BOR") seeking a decrease in value to $800, 000 based upon their recent purchase. Appellee Green Local School District Board of Education ("Green") filed a counter complaint seeking to maintain the value assigned by the auditor.

         {¶4} The matter proceeded to a hearing before the BOR at which Mr. Manolakis testified. The BOR concluded that a decrease in valuation was warranted and valued the property at $836, 300 for the 2016 tax year.

         {¶5} Green appealed to the BTA arguing that the auditor's value should be reinstated because Mr. and Mrs. Manolakis failed to meet their burden in the BOR to demonstrate that the sale was an arm's-length transaction. Absent such evidence, Green argued that the sales price could not be considered the best evidence of value. The parties waived a hearing. While the parties attached documents to their briefs in the BTA, the BTA refused to consider them as the parties had "waiv[ed] the opportunity to supplement the record with new evidence at the [BTA] hearing."

         {¶6} The BTA concluded that Mr. and Mrs. Manolakis failed to demonstrate that their purchase of the property for $836, 299 was an arm's-length transaction. Ultimately, the BTA concluded that "the evidence submitted at the BOR hearing was insufficient, and, therefore, the BOR's decision to reduce the subject property's value to reflect the auction sale price is unsupported." Further, "[b]ecause there [wa]s no other evidence of value contained in the record," the BTA was "constrained to reinstate the subject property's initially assessed value."

         {¶7} Mr. and Mrs. Manolakis have appealed, raising four assignments of error for our review. They will be addressed together to facilitate the discussion of the relevant issues.

II.
ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR I
IT WAS UNREASONABLE OR UNLAWFUL FOR THE OHIO BOARD OF TAX APPEALS (BTA) TO REVERSE THE SUMMIT COUNTY BOARD OF REVISION (BOR) (APPENDIX A) DETERMINATION THAT THE FAIR MARKET VALUE OF THE SUBJECT PROPERTY IS $836, 300 AS OF THE STATUTORY VALUATION DATE OF JANUARY 1, 2016 WHEN ALL OF THE EVIDENCE PROVES THAT IS THE TRUE VALUE OF THE SUBJECT PROPERTY, INCLUDING THAT WAS THE PRICE WHICH STAN AND TIFFANY MANOLAKIS (MANOLAKIS) PAID FOR THE PROPERTY LESS THAN TWO MONTHS BEFORE THE STATUTORY VALUATION DATE AT A PUBLIC AUCTION ...

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