Arkansas Court of Appeals Recognizes Challenge to Property Tax Assessment on Mineral Rights

The Arkansas Court of Appeals recognized the validity of a taxpayer's challenge to the valuation of mineral rights in SWN Production Company (Arkansas), LLC V. Stobaugh, 2021 Ark. App. 324 (September 8, 2021). The opinion, which reversed the circuit court's dismissal of the valuation challenge, continues the trend of limiting authority of Assessment Coordination Division (ACD) guidelines and is also notable for recognizing that a valuation challenge no longer involves deference to the assessor. [More]

DFA Assessment Coordination Division Proposes Property Tax Exemption Rules Requiring Every Exempt Parcel to Reapply

The Assessment Coordination Division (ACD) of the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration has proposed rules on tax exemption determinations as mandated by Act 819 of 2019. The rules would require every exempt parcel to reapply for exemption in 2023, and the draft exemption application would require a large amount of information to prove entitlement to the exemption. The rules do not provide substantive guidance about what kinds of uses of property should or should not qualify for exemption. The deadline for comments on the proposed rule is May 31, and a hearing on the proposed rules will be held June 1. Interested parties should consider participating in the rulemaking process. [More]

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]