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For the purposes of this section, municipal tax hearing office means the administrative offices of the municipal tax hearing officer.
(a) Informal conference. A taxpayer shall have the right to discuss any proposed assessment with the auditor prior to the issuance of any assessment, but any such informal conference is not required for the taxpayer to file a petition for administrative review.
(b) Administrative review.
(1) Filing a petition. Other than in the case of a jeopardy assessment, a taxpayer may contest the applicability or amount of any tax, penalty, or interest imposed upon or paid by him pursuant to this article by filing a petition for a hearing or for redetermination with the tax collector as set forth below:
(A) within forty-five (45) days of receipt by the taxpayer of notice of a determination by the tax collector that a tax, penalty, or interest amount is due, or that a request for refund or credit has been denied; or
(B) by voluntary payment of any contested amount when accompanied by a timely filed return and a petition requesting a refund of the protested portion of said payment; or
(C) by petition accompanying a timely filed return contesting an amount reported but not paid; or
(D) by petition requesting review of denial of waiver of penalty as provided in subsection 19-540(g).
(2) Extension to file a petition. In all cases, the taxpayer may request an extension from the tax collector. Such request must be in writing, state the reasons for the requested delay, and must be filed with the tax collector within the period allowed above for originally filing a petition. The tax collector shall allow a forty-five (45) day extension to file a petition when such written request has been properly and timely made by the taxpayer. The tax collector may grant an additional extension and may determine the corresponding time of any such extension at his sole discretion.
(3) Requirements for petition.
(A) The petition shall be in writing and shall set forth the reasons why any correction, abatement, or refund should be granted, and the amount of reduction or refund requested. The petition may be amended at any time prior to the time the taxpayer rests his case at the hearing or such time as the hearing officer allows for submitting of amendments in cases of redeterminations without hearings. The hearing officer may require that amendments be in writing, and in that case, he shall provide a reasonable period of time to file the amendment. The hearing officer shall provide a reasonable period of time for the tax collector to review and respond to the petition and to any written amendments.
(B) The taxpayer, as part of the petition, may request a hearing which shall be granted by the hearing officer. If no request for hearing is made the petition shall be considered to be submitted for decision by the hearing officer on the matters contained in the petition and in any reply made by the tax collector.
(C) The provisions of this section are exclusive, and no petition seeking any correction, abatement, or refund shall be considered unless the petition is timely and properly filed under this section.
(4) Transmittal to hearing officer. The city shall designate a hearing officer, who may be other than an employee of the city. The tax collector, if designated to receive petitions, shall forward any petition to the municipal tax hearing office (MTHO) within twenty (20) days after receipt, accompanied by documentation as to timeliness. In cases where the Hearing Officer determines that the petition is not timely or not in proper form, he shall notify both the taxpayer and the tax collector; and in cases of petitions not in proper form only, the hearing officer shall provide the taxpayer with an extension up to forty-five (45) days to correct the petition.
(5) Hearings shall be conducted by a hearing officer and shall be continuous until the hearing officer closes the record. The taxpayer may be heard in person or by his authorized representative at such hearing. Hearings shall be conducted informally as to the order of proceeding and presentation of evidence. The hearing officer shall admit evidence over hearsay objections where the offered evidence has substantial probative value and reliability. Further, copies of records and documents prepared in the ordinary course of business may be admitted, without objection as to foundation, but subject to argument as to weight, admissibility, and authenticity. Summary accounting records may be admitted subject to satisfactory proof of the reliability of the summaries. In all cases, the decision of the hearing officer shall be made solely upon substantial and reliable evidence. All expenses incurred in the hearing shall be paid by the party incurring the same.
(6) Redeterminations upon a "petition for redetermination" shall follow the same conditions, except that no oral hearing shall be held.
(7) Hearing ruling. In either case, the hearing officer shall issue his ruling not later than forty-five (45) days after the close of the record by the hearing officer.
(8) Notice of refund or adjusted assessment. Within sixty (60) days of the issuance of the hearing officer's decision, the tax collector shall issue to the taxpayer either a notice of refund or an adjusted assessment recalculated to conform to the hearing officer's decision.
(c) Stipulations that future tax is also protested. A taxpayer may enter into a stipulation with the tax collector that future taxes of similar nature are also at issue in any protest or appeal. However, unless such stipulation is made, it is presumed that the protest or appeal deals solely and exclusively with the tax specifically protested and no other. When a taxpayer enters into such a stipulation with the tax collector that future taxes of similar nature will be included in any redetermination, hearing, or court case, it is the burden of that taxpayer to identify, segregate, and keep record of such income or protested taxable amount in his books and records in the same manner as the taxpayer is required to segregate exempt income.
(d) When an assessment is final.
(1) If a request for administrative review and petition for hearing or redetermination of an assessment made by the tax collector is not filed within the period required by subsection (b) above, such person shall be deemed to have waived and abandoned the right to question the amount determined to be due and any tax, interest, or penalty determined to be due shall be final as provided in subsections 19-545(a) and 19-555(f).
(2) The decision made by the hearing officer upon administrative review by hearing or redetermination shall become final thirty (30) days after the taxpayer receives the notice of refund or adjusted assessment required by subsection (b)(8) above, unless the taxpayer appeals the order or decision in the manner provided in section 19-575.
(Ord. No. 6674, § 3, 3-23-87; Ord. No. 7446, § 2.14, 7-2-90; Ord. No. 8784, § 22, 12-2-96; Ord. No. 9569, § 3, 6-18-01; Ord. No. 10754, § 5, 1-20-10, eff. 7-1-08)