Pima County Assessor v. Arizona State Board of Equalization

In Pima County Assessor v. Arizona State Board of Equalization, 195 Ariz. 329, 333-34,12-14, 987 P.2d 815, 819-20 (App. 1999) the Court considered a classification challenge under the error correction statutes that had not been presented previously to the Board of Equalization, though other issues relating to the same tax year had been litigated in that forum. The court noted the legislature's intent to "permit any tribunal properly presented with an error-correction claim to remedy property tax 'errors' when appropriate to do so in the interest of justice." Id. at 334,14, 987 P.2d at 820. The Court emphasized the broad remedial purpose of the error correction statutes and refused to engraft time restrictions on the classification challenge beyond those limitations already in place. Id. at 336,25-26, 987 P.2d at 822; see, e.g., A.R.S. 42-16256(B) (2006) ("A notice of error or notice of claim under this article is limited to the current tax year in which the notice of error or notice of claim is filed and the three immediately preceding tax years."). The court discussed the potential for "claim-splitting or other taxpayer abuses," stating: We accordingly infer two principles in the error-correction scheme. First, if the taxpayer knew of or reasonably should have discovered an "error" within A.R.S. section 42-16251(3) in sufficient time to assert it through a tax appeal, then sections 42-16251 to -16259 cannot later provide a remedy. Second, if the "error" has escaped the taxpayer's attention despite the exercise of reasonable care to discover it in time, sections 42-16251 to -16259 can provide a remedy regardless of whether the taxpayer prosecuted a tax appeal for the tax year in question. Pima County Assessor, 195 Ariz. at 336,25, 26, 987 P.2d at 822.