Attorney-at-Law

“A GREAT GOLF FIXED”

In Uncategorized on 05/15/2020 at 01:52

Please credit my colleague Peter Reilly, CPA, Forbes’ intrepid blogger, and please do not blame him for this dreadful pun, for giving me the scoop on Champions Retreat Golf Founders, LLC v. Commissioner, No. 18-14817 (11th Cir. 2020).

As always, for the backstory see my blog, herein “Not Endangered, Except the Benderdinker,” 9/10/18.

The Elevenses, apparently avid followers of “the ‘umblin’ game,” ruled as follows. “Without the golf course, this easement would easily meet these criteria. Because the Code does not disqualify an easement just because it includes a golf course, we reverse the Tax Court’s decision and remand for determination of the proper amount of the deduction.” Decision, at p. 2.

I’ll let my readers decide if the Elevenses’ ruling was for the birds, namely, “…eastern whip-poor-will, brown-headed nuthatch, red-headed woodpecker, and prothonotary warbler. The expert saw a wood duck with fledglings, suggesting on-site breeding. The Commissioner’s expert saw a wood stork—a federally listed endangered species—though he opined it was just passing through.” Decision, at p. 10.

Remember, Reg. 1.170A-14(d)(3)(i) wants the protected area to stay wild and let the endangered or threatened to continue using same.

There’s lots of threatened squirrels, and the Elevenses lay into Tax Court for their disregard of the denseflower knotweed, Decision, at p. 13. The Elevenses wax eloquent about said knotweed: as I do not have allergies of the sort the knotweed might kick up, I cannot state with Chaucer that it is a species in “which vertu engendred is the flour.” But here’s the story: “Moreover, the relevant question is not so much whether chemicals from the course may harm the knotweed, but whether the easement improves the chance that the knotweed will be preserved. The answer is yes for two reasons: first, because the obligation to use best environmental practices would not exist without the easement; and second, because unrestrained development of the land where the knotweed is located would pose a greater risk than the golf course.” Decision, at p. 14.

To cap it off, the Elevenses chastise Judge Pugh’s apparent ruling that a bird should be seen if not heard. “The court also ignored a bird that was heard but not seen. The court did not explain how a bird could be heard if not present on or at least near the property.” Decision, at p. 15.

In 11 Cir, the bird is the word. They really don’t care about the Benderdinker; not Word One anent the same.

Reversed and remanded, to try the valuation issue.

In consequence whereof, I shorten the odds on Judge Mark V Holmes’ “try the valuation and forget perpetuity games” dissent in Oakwood winning on appeal to 6 Cir from 3 to 1 to 6 to 5. Get your money on before Las Vegas and the parimutuels take it off the boards altogether.

Many thanks again, Mr. Reilly. To you and to all my readers, stay safe, stay strong!

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