In a recent court case in Chesterfield County, Virginia, Ryan Law prevailed on a motion regarding the applicable legal standard of review in Virginia that should be utilized for a data center real property assessment. The Chesterfield County assessor had issued an inflated real property assessment for the subject property by solely utilizing a cost approach to value the asset. The assessor did not develop any other of the traditional valuation approaches to further support its proposed assessment. The county’s attorney tried to preclude Ryan Law from submitting appraisals into evidence that were performed after the administrative appeals by arguing that other valuation methodologies were precluded. The taxpayer had previously appealed administratively, but insufficient relief was given.
On appeal to the Court, a dispute arose between the parties as to the applicable standard of review. The county’s attorney argued that pursuant to decisions in Verizon Online LLC v. Horbal, 293 Va. 176 (2017) and City of Norfolk v. Snyder, 161 Va. 288 (1933), the Court could not review any arguments or evidence that had not been expressly raised or submitted in prior administrative actions. Ryan Law argued that the Court must review the case de novo and consider all evidence submitted that would help the complainant meet the burden of proof.
The Circuit Court held that the precedent established by the cases presented by the jurisdiction did not apply to the case at hand and that the petitioner could introduce the new appraisals into evidence and any other evidence it wanted to utilize to satisfy its evidentiary burden. This decision is consistent with numerous other cases pursued in Virginia by Ryan and Ryan Law. To learn more or if you have any questions, please reach out to our experts.
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