Halloran Sage recently won an appeal that overturned a trial court’s ban on using statutory depreciation schedules to value property unless a town has adopted the schedules. In Kohl’s Dept. Stores, Inc. v. Town of Rocky Hill, 195 Conn. App. 831, cert. denied, 335 Conn. ___ (2020), the Appellate Court unanimously held that municipal tax assessors may utilize the statutory depreciation schedules to assess the personal property of a taxpayer, see Conn. Gen. Stat. § 12-63(b)(6), even if their municipality has not adopted the schedules by ordinance as provided by § 12-63(b)(2). Id. at 841-42.
Kohl’s appealed the assessment of personal property at its store on the Silas Deane Highway in Rocky Hill. The trial court refused to consider Rocky Hill’s evidence of value because its assessor had relied on an unadopted statutory depreciation schedule. Id. at 836-37, 842. The trial court then held that Kohl’s appraisal was the only credible evidence of value, relied on it to find value, and sustained Kohl’s tax appeal. The Appellate Court reversed and remanded for a new trial because the text and history of § 12-63(b) make it clear that the schedules’ “core purpose” is “standardization and uniformity” in the assessment of personal property and Rocky Hill’s “use of the schedule is entirely consistent with th[at] core purpose[.]” Id. at 840-41.
Daniel J. Krisch, Chair of Halloran Sage’s Appellate Practice Group, and his partner, Morris R. Borea, represented Rocky Hill.