All Content

Posted by: Landry Butler on Oct 5, 2017

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Lewis S. Howard, Jr. and Erin J. Wallen, Knoxville, Tennessee, for the appellant, The Coal Creek Company.

Attorneys 2:

Robert T. Lee, Mt. Juliet, Tennessee, for the appellee, Anderson County, Tennessee.

Joseph G. Coker, Jacksboro, Tennessee, for the appellee, Campbell County, Tennessee.

Andrew N. Hall, Wartburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Morgan County, Tennessee.

John Sharpe, Assistant General Counsel for the appellee, Tennessee Division of Property Assessments.

Herbert H. Slatery, III, Attorney General and Reporter, Andre´e Sophia Blumstein, Solicitor General, and, Mary Ellen Knack, Senior Counsel, for the appellees, State Board of Equalization and Assessment Appeals Commission.

Judge(s): SWINEY

This appeal concerns whether a tax on certain property containing oil and gas deposits constitutes an unlawful additional severance tax. The Coal Creek Company (“Coal Creek”) appealed the tax assessments of various county property assessors (“Assessors”). After administrative proceedings and appeals, the Tennessee Assessment Appeals Commission reinstated the original assessments. Coal Creek filed suit in the Chancery Court for Knox County (“the Trial Court”) seeking judicial review of the Appeals Commission’s decision. Following a bench trial, the Trial Court entered an order dismissing Coal Creek’s complaint. Coal Creek appeals to this Court. We hold, inter alia, that the taxes assessed upon Coal Creek’s property relative to oil and gas remaining in the ground are property taxes, not a severance tax. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.