Legal Issues and State Government and Taxes and Government & Economic Development and Government and Law

Court rules state overreached when it shut puppy mill

August 23, 2011

The Indiana Tax Court has ruled that state officials exceeded their authority when they used a provision in state tax law to shut down a southern Indiana puppy mill.

The Times of Munster reports Tax Court Judge Martha Wentworth ruled Friday that the Department of Revenue and Indiana Attorney General Office's actions didn't conform with state law authorizing jeopardy tax assessments.

Those assessments allow the state to recoup unpaid taxes by seizing property immediately without notice or a court hearing.

When the two Harrison County women who owned the dogs couldn't immediately pay the $142,000 the state wanted each of them to pay, State Police and Humane Society members seized their 240 dogs. The state then sold the dogs the next day to the Humane Society for $300.

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