Eric Wind Attorney at NH Public Utilities Commission in Concord.

Supreme Court At-a-Glance Contributor Eric Wind, Attorney at the NH Public Utilities Commission in Concord, N.H.

No. 2020-0538

October 8, 2021

Affirmed.

 

  • Whether the Board of Tax and Land Appeals (BTLA) erred in dismissing the taxpayers’ appeal in finding that the taxpayers had not met their burden of proving the omission of their signatures and certifications on their tax abatement applications was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect?

 

The Court agreed with the trial court which found that the taxpayers had not met their burden of proving the omission of their signatures and certifications on their tax abatement application was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.  The Court had previously construed the reasonable cause and not willful neglect standard to permit an appeal to the BTLA without a taxpayer signature and certification if the taxpayer can show that despite exercising ordinary business care and prudence, it was not reasonably possible to submit the application with the taxpayer’s signature and certification and can also show that he or she was not recklessly indifferent to the signature and certification requirement in preparing the application.  The Court upheld the BTLA’s holding that the taxpayers failed to prove that the omission of their signatures and certifications was due to reasonable cause and not willful neglect.  The Court also rejected the argument the taxpayers’ argument that the BTLA exceeded its authority by adopting Rule 203.02(d).

 

Cooper, Carghill & Chant, of North Conway (Randall F. Cooper on the brief and orally), for the petitioners.  Donahue, Tucker & Ciandella, of Exeter (Christopher T. Hilson on the brief and Brendan Avery O’Donnell on the brief and orally) for the respondent.