Arkansas Supreme Court Allows Exemption for Unleased Economic Development Property Under Facts Presented

The Arkansas Supreme Court issued a nuanced opinion in City of Little Rock v. Ward, 2020 Ark. 399 (2020), granting property tax exemptions for publicly held property that formerly had been leased to private parties. The reasoning of the opinion turns on the specific facts associated with the subsequent use of each parcel. As such, the case is a win for economic development authorities, but it is a nuanced one where such agencies need to carefully consider the applicable facts. [More]

Arkansas Supreme Court Takes Narrow View of Assessment Coordination Division Authority

The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld sovereign immunity dismissal of claims against the Assessment Coordination Division (ACD) about its mineral interest assessment guidelines in Chaney v. Union Producing, LLC, 2020 Ark. 388 (Dec. 3, 2020). The court's reasoning emphasizes the limited nature of ACD guidance authority over county assessors. The decision also highlights the potential impact of sovereign immunity on the right to bring tax-related claims to court. [More]

Court of Appeals Takes Broad Read of County Court Property Tax Exclusive Original Jurisdiction

The recent Court of Appeals decision in David L. Eddy, P.A. v. Haley, 2020 Ark. App. 430 (Sept. 23, 2020), continues a trend of Arkansas courts recognizing county courts as judicial venues with broad jurisdiction over property tax cases. Taxpayers considering lawsuits relating to property taxes should consider whether jurisdiction for the initial suit lies in county court instead of circuit court. [More]

Arkansas Court of Appeals Upholds Charitable Exemption for Hospital Clinics

In a unanimous opinion, the Court of Appeals has upheld a charitable exemption from property tax for clinics and lots acquired by a charitable hospital. Hardesty v. North Arkansas Medical Services, Inc., 2019 Ark. App. 410 (Sept. 25, 2019). This straightforward opinion reaffirms existing case law about the requirements for charitable exemption for a hospital, which do not include a minimum percentage of charity care. With this decision, Arkansas seems set to avoid the kind of high-stakes property tax controversy that has surrounded hospitals in other states. [More]

Walmart "Dark Store" Case Should Be of Interest to All Arkansas Property Taxpayers

2017 property taxpayer fairness legislation was intended to level the playing field between taxpayers and county assessors, and courts are now grappling with how to apply these changes. The leading case appears to be Walmart's appeal of its 2018 Pulaski County assessments. The taxpayer received an adverse decision in county court, and that decision has now been appealed for de novo proceedings in circuit (trial) court. While the "dark store" issue is somewhat specific to retail, how the courts apply the equalized burdens of proof in practice is of importance to all taxpayers. [More]