Heard: September 8, 2014.
Appeal From The Administrative Law Court Deborah Brooks Durden, Administrative Law Judge. Appellate Case No. 2013-000106.
James Ashley Twombley, of Twenge & Twombley, LLC, of Beaufort, for Appellant.
Stephen P. Hughes and William Thomas Young, III, both of Howell Gibson & Hughes, PA, of Beaufort, for Respondent.
KONDUROS, J. HUFF and SHORT, JJ., concur.
[410 S.C. 431] KONDUROS, J.:
Mitul Enterprises, L.P. (Mitul) appeals the Administrative Law Court's (ALC) ruling affirming the imposition of an additional $105,282.48 to its 2009 tax bill. We affirm.
[410 S.C. 432] FACTS/PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
In 2007, Mitul began construction of a new Holiday Inn in Beaufort, South Carolina. Construction was not completed until 2008, and therefore, the Holiday Inn structure was to be taxed for the first time in the 2009 tax year. Prior to construction of the new Holiday Inn, the property had been improved with other structures, including a restaurant. The property was assessed a value of $930,300.00, resulting in a 2008 tax bill of $13,220.75.
After construction of the hotel was completed, the Beaufort County Tax Assessor (Assessor) found the market value of the newly-improved property was $11,775,674.00 and noticed Mitul of this in September of 2009. Mitul successfully challenged that valuation, and the Assessor reduced the market value of the property to $9,000,000.00. The Assessor notified Mitul of this revision in writing in April of 2010 and also issued Mitul a new tax notice. However, the new tax notice continued to reflect a taxable amount based on the pre-improvement value of the property. Because of this error, the tax due was listed as $14,209.10.
According to the Assessor, this omission of the Holiday Inn from the tax rolls was the result of an error in the software used to create the tax rolls that failed to incorporate those structures for which building permits and certificates of occupancy were issued in different years. Because the building permit and certificate of occupancy for the hotel were issued in different years, the hotel was inadvertently omitted from the tax rolls.
Upon discovery of the omission, the Assessor, through the Beaufort County Treasurer, issued a corrected 2009 tax bill reflecting additional taxes in the amount of $105,282.48. Mitul objected to the additional tax, contending it constituted an unwarranted reassessment. Mitul exhausted its administrative appeals with a ...