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Hub Properties Trust v. Maricopa Cnty.

Court of Appeals of Arizona, First Division

August 20, 2015

HUB PROPERTIES TRUST, a Maryland real estate investment trust, Plaintiff/Appellant,
v.
MARICOPA COUNTY, a political subdivision of the State of Arizona; THE ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF REVENUE, an agency of the State of Arizona, Defendants/Appellees

Appeal from the Superior Court in Maricopa County. TX2011-000654. The Honorable Dean M. Fink, Judge.

Mooney, Wright & Moore, PLLC, Mesa, By Paul J. Mooney, Jim L. Wright, Counsel for Plaintiff/Appellant.

Maricopa County Attorney's Office, Phoenix, By Kathleen A. Patterson, Counsel for Defendant/Appellee Maricopa County.

Arizona Attorney General's Office, Phoenix, By Kenneth J. Love, Jerry A. Fries, Counsel for Defendant/Appellee Arizona Department of Revenue.

Presiding Judge Patricia A. Orozco delivered the opinion of the Court, in which Judge Randall M. Howe and Judge Maurice Portley joined.

OPINION

Page 593

Patricia A. Orozco, Judge:

[¶1] Hub Properties Trust (Hub) appeals the grant of summary judgment in favor of Maricopa County and the Arizona Department of Revenue (collectively the State). For the following reasons, we affirm.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

[¶2] This appeal concerns a property tax assessment for real property in Maricopa County (the Property) for tax year 2011. Hub purchased the Property from the City of Phoenix (the City) on March 4, 2011. When the City owned the Property, it was exempt from property taxes pursuant to Article 9, Section 2(1) of the Arizona Constitution and Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 42-11102.A. (West 2015).[1]

[¶3] After Hub purchased the Property, the County Assessor's Office determined the Property was no longer exempt municipal commercial property. As a result, the Property was included in the Assessor's roll as taxable property and was included in the County's tax roll for tax year 2011. The Maricopa County Board of Supervisors then fixed, levied and assessed property taxes for the Property for the County's assessment and tax roll for the 2011 tax year.

[¶4] Hub subsequently brought suit claiming the taxes assessed on the Property were illegally collected because the Property " was not subject to ad valorem taxation" and appealed the Property's valuation. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment on the former claim and the tax court granted the State's motion, finding the Property was no longer tax exempt after the City sold it to Hub. The parties subsequently settled Hub's valuation claim and the tax court entered a stipulated judgment on that issue. Hub timely appealed the tax court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the State. We have jurisdiction pursuant to Article 6, section 9 of the Arizona Constitution and A.R.S. § § 12-120.21.A.1 and -2101.A.1 (West 2015).

DISCUSSION

[¶5] We review the grant of summary judgment and questions of law, including the interpretation of statutes, de novo. Maycock v. Asilomar Dev., Inc., 207 Ariz. 495, 498, 500, ¶ ¶ 14, 88 P.3d 565 (App. 2004). In reviewing issues of statutory construction, we look to the statute's plain language to determine its meaning. Koss Corp. v. ...


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