Tax Court Upholds AT&T Cell Tower Assessment Reduction Of $1.7 Million

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UPDATE  In April 2019, Inside Towers reported on a $1.75 million tax reprieve received by AT&T Mobility after a Missouri Tax Court ruled it was not responsible for assessed property taxes on nearly two dozen tower sites. At the time, the court ruled the counties did not follow federal guidelines in evaluating the sites, according to the court filing.

The litigation in the case of AT&T Mobility vs the Boards of Equalization of Caldwell, Daviess, Harrison, Henry, and Mercer counties (BOEs), began in 2016, and a court ruled in favor of the carrier. On July 6, the Missouri State Tax Commission upheld the 2019 decision to reduce the combined value of the 23 disputed towers from $3.5 million to $1.8 million, rejecting arguments from five county assessors that a hearing officer improperly determined the equipment’s depreciation, the court record stated.

Regarding the 23 disputed towers, the commissioners said the 2019 decision upheld the Internal Revenue Service depreciation guidance for wireless telecommunications property. The commissioners also rejected other arguments from the assessors that AT&T should be required to furnish records relating to the original cost of specific equipment. According to Law 360, the commissioners said the appeal centered on “discovery disputes and credibility determinations” deemed “meritless.”

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