Monday, September 26, 2011
Wendy C. Gerzog (Professor of Law, University of Baltimore School of Law) recently published her article entitled Excluding Expert Valuation Testimony, 132 Tax Note 1423, Sep. 26, 2011. An excerpt from the article is below:
In its 2003 partnership return, Boltar claimed a charitable deduction for a conservation easement on property it owned in Lake County, Ind.1 The company valued the easement at $3.245 million.2 The government reduced that figure to $42,000 in its notice of final partnership administrative adjustment (FPAA). The government also filed a pretrial motion to exclude the taxpayer’s expert report and testimony under the Federal Rules of Evidence (FRE) and Daubert.3 The court ruled favorably on the government’s motion and held that the amount of the taxpayer’s deduction was limited to that allowed in the FPAA.
At the end of 1996, Laura Lake Development Co. LLC purchased two parcels (northern and southern parcels) of approximately 10 acres each for $10,000 an acre. On October 1, 1999, it transferred those parcels to Boltar.4 On November 8, 2002, Shirley Heinz Land Trust Inc. (Land Trust) quitclaimed approximately 10.3 acres (eastern parcel) just east of the southern parcel to Boltar.5 At all relevant times, the southern parcel was encumbered by a pipeline utility easement. Also, as of December 29, 2003, the date of the taxpayer’s donation, both the northern and southern parcels were subject to an access (golf cart) easement.
On December 29, 2003, the taxpayer granted a conservation easement to the Land Trust on approximately eight acres of the eastern side of the southern parcel. Of that easement, approximately 2.82 acres of the southern parcel (plus additional land in the northern parcel as well as all the acreage in the eastern parcel) is forested wetland under the U.S. Corps of Army Engineers’ jurisdiction. The discharge of fill material in those wetlands was subject to permit application and mitigation for lost resources.