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Court Accepts Review of Tax Equality Case

Today the Supreme Court granted review of one of the petitions to watch highlighted in our Supreme Court Preview.

In Armour, et al., v. Indianapolis, et al., the City adopted a new way to finance sewer improvements, easing the transition by discharging outstanding assessments.  Taxpayers who had already paid the old assessment sued for refunds, claiming violation of the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.  The Indiana Supreme Court found that the City did not violate the Equal Protection Clause because its decision was rationally related to a legitimate governmental interest. The Supreme Court is now set to weigh in on the following question:

“Whether the Equal Protection Clause precludes a local taxing authority from refusing to refund payments made by those who have paid their assessments in full, while forgiving the obligations of identically situated taxpayers who chose to payover a multi-year installment plan.”

The SCOTUSBLOG reports that oral argument will be set for February.  Their analysis of the potential impact of this grant can be accessed here.