A local country club had leased its land, pursuant to a 99-year lease, for several years before purchasing it in 2007. During the lease, the clubhouse was rebuilt and refurbished, but the county auditor never included the value of the new clubhouse when calculating the property taxes owed. After the country club purchased the land, the county treasurer attempted to collect the omitted taxes.
We filed suit. The issue was whether the club’s possession of the property under the 99-year lease constituted “ownership.” Because the club was a tenant, we argued it was not liable for the omitted taxes. The trial court saw things our way and held that the club was not liable for pre-2007 taxes of nearly $150,000. The decision was affirmed on appeal.
[Jefferson Golf and Country Club v. Leonard (Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, case no. 09CVH-04-5526)]